Blackness

Anna was not in lilac, as Kitty had absolutely wanted, but in a low-cut black velvet dress, which revealed her full shoulders and bosom, as if shaped from old ivory, and her rounded arms with their very small slender hands….Kitty had seen Anna every day, was in love with her, and had imagined her inevitably in lilac. But now, seeing her in black, she felt that she had never understood all her loveliness….She was enchanting in her simple black dress, enchanting were her full arms with the bracelets on them, enchanting her firm neck with its string of pearls, enchanting her curly hair in disarray, enchanting the graceful, light movements of her small feet and hands, enchanting that beautiful face in its animation; but there was something terrible and cruel in her enchantment.

Lilac? Oh, Kitty, I don’t think so.

From the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of Anna Karenina.

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