Beat the colour world with the black wedge
As part of a spectrum so hypersensitized, black takes on a new, its full, chromatic stock... it takes on life, substance (the shiny black of satin is played off against matte velvet), it acquires the value of an ethical symbol... it inserts itself like a wedge into a colour world
(Michel Caen, on Fisher's Brides of Dracula)
"Is it blood?" asked Étienne, at last venturing to question him. Bonnemort slowly wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "It's coal. I've got enough in my carcass to warm me till I die. And it's five years since I put a foot down below. I stored it up, it seems, without knowing it; it keeps you alive!"
(Émile Zola, on labor)