Monday, February 22, 2010

Van Gogh letters translated into six volumes

Van Gogh... Writer? Avid reader? Letters, hundreds of them, were translated into English. They revealed some surprises. You'll have to go to Amsterdam to read the originals as they are on exhibit there. However, you can buy them, and I for one can say I'm wish-listing these volumes. From the quotes I heard, he is a wonderful writer. Quiet poetic and philosophical.

The nearly one thousand letters written by Van Gogh were translated, annotated, and put into 6 volumes. Sex and disease are not censored. Brothels are described in colourful detail, as one would expect from an artist, were he to visit one, which Van Gogh did... quite a number of times.

That said he was a deeply spiritual and intellectual man. Apparently he was also an avid, and I do mean avid, reader. And, he had dreams of building a cultural, artistic community, which never came to fruition due to both a falling out with Gauguin and Van Gogh's mental illness. offers free viewing of "all 902 letters from and to Van Gogh, richly annotated and illustrated, with new transcriptions and translations."

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