"Yes, I have seen them," answered Levin.
"But, I beg your pardon, I interrupted you...you were saying?..."
Levin asked if she had seen Dolly lately.
"She was here yesterday. She was very indignant with the high
school people on Grisha's account. The Latin teacher, it seems,
had been unfair to him."
"Yes, I have seen his pictures. I didn't care for them very
much," Levin went back to the subject she had started.
Levin talked now not at all with that purely businesslike
attitude to the subject with which he had been talking all the
morning. Every word in his conversation with her had a special
significance. And talking to her was pleasant; still pleasanter
it was to listen to her.
Anna talked not merely naturally and cleverly, but cleverly and
carelessly, attaching no value to her own ideas and giving great
weight to the ideas of the person she was talking to.
The conversation turned on the new movement in art, on the new
illustrations of the Bible by a French artist. Vorkuev attacked
the artist for a realism carried to the point of coarseness.
Levin said that the French had carried conventionality further
than anyone, and that consequently they see a great merit in the
return to realism. In the fact of not lying they see poetry.
Never had anything clever said by Levin given him so much
pleasure as this remark. Anna's face lighted up at once, as at
once she appreciated the thought. She laughed.
"I laugh," she said, "as one laughs when one sees a very true
portrait. What you said so perfectly hits off French art now,
painting and literature too, indeed--Zola, Daudet. But perhaps
it is always so, that men form their conceptions from fictitious,
conventional types, and then--all the combinaisons made--they
are tired of the fictitious figures and begin to invent more
natural, true figures."