Letter from an Unknown Woman
An Austrian writer receives a letter from an unknown woman on the day of his anniversary. This woman tells him that she knew him for 20 years now. As she was his neighbor as an 8-year-old child, she fell madly in love with him, observing him secretly. Later, at age 18, she was one of his numerous mistresses for two or three nights and became pregnant. She didn’t want to disturb him so she chose to be a courtesan in order to raise their son. She met him for another night years later, but the writer didn’t recognize her once again. Now that their son has just died from the influenza, she has decided to write to him this letter he will receive only after her death.
A rich and well-known writer, returning from one of many holidays to Vienna, finds a long letter from an unknown woman. It tells the story of this writer, while reading a letter written by the woman he does not remember, gets glimpses into her life story. She was never married because her heart belonged always to the writer. She has never confessed her love. In the 1918 flu pandemic, she, ill then, wrote this letter to be posted after her death.
Nothing can equal the unnoticed love of a child.It is hopeless and subservient; it is patient and passionate; it is something which the covetous love of a grown woman, the love that is unconsciously exacting, can never be.None but lonely children can cherish such a passion.
- Letter from an Unknown Woman