Recently I‘ve been all about books. Can‘t keep a balance between books and movies, it‘s either one or another. OK. This time I‘m going to talk about Alexander Kuprin‘s beautiful yet sad story called „The Garnet Bracelet“. It‘s not a long story, but for me it was really beautiful, even though it‘s really tragic. It‘s one of those times when you sincerely feel sorry for the characters as if they were true people, though they are fictional.
The main character Vera gets as a present this garnet bracelet from her secret admirer. She knows that there exist this man who secretely loves her, he stalks her in a way, but no one knows who he is. At this point, situation is really creepy. And then she gets this bracelet which is extremely expensive and rare jewelery. No how would you react to this? At this point expensive jewelery is a nice present, but when it is from your stalker? Then what? Nothing, really. A present from a stalker is a present from a stalker. It‘s not good.
Now, someone may think that Vera‘s stalker was a rich guy. But no he wasn‘t. Her husband and brother managed to find him. It was a poor, regular man Zheltkov. And at this point I started to feel sincerely sorry for him. Not that I say stalking is good thing, but the pure feelings Zheltkov had for Vera were amazingly beautiful. I mean he saw her, fell in love, but he never intruded in her life actively, well aside from writing her letters and sending presents once in a while. But he never showed up to her, he never tried to seduce her, or ruin her family. Now, he loved her, even though he knew there won‘t be no response to his love. He sacrifised his own happiness and chance to be loved. He just loved a woman from a distance…
So at one point, some can say that Zheltkov had a sick obssession with Vera. Maybe he had. But the way he dealt with obssession demands some respect because there are people who cannot deal with their passionate love in such a deliquete way. What‘s more shocked me about Zheltkov that at the end of the story, when Vera returned him bracelet he called her and she said that she could live calmly if he would be absent from her life. So I was shocked that Zheltkov understood her words so directly, so he commited a suicide (even though he explained that he commited suicide for differrent reasons) so she could live calmly. This is insane. I mean, can we call that a sublime love? Or was he just really sick? I don‘t know what would be the right answer, but what he did seems to me to be grand, even though I don‘t know why. Because, you know, suicide can‘t be seen as a grand thing to be done.
Who knows maybe under different circumstances Zheltkov and Vera could have been the happiest couple in the world. Unfortunately, things went different way and only Zheltkov experienced part of that love, and Vera… Well, Vera only had the feeling that there was huge love around her that did not enter and reach out for her.
At this point, we might think that in this story Vera is an unhappy character. She didn‘t experience the greatest love of all. And she‘s the one who is left with knowing there won‘t be such love in her life anymore. Zheltkov, on the other hand, had that all, and he left with that knowing.
So you see, this is a simple, short story, but how much tragedy it contains. And how much love. I don‘t know if kind of love exist in real life. Tragedy – it does exist. But love? I really don‘t think there is such feelings. Or maybe it does. Rarely. It‘s hard to tell. I don‘t know any single person who would have experienced it. But maybe there are such people. Probably they are the happiest people in the whole world.
At the very end, I‘d like to say that there are other beautiful and interesting novels by Kuprin. I didn‘t mention them here, but if you are interested in his works – go on and look for them. I think you won‘t be disappointed.