By Patrick Grant
Vincent van Gogh’s letters are often fashionable for his or her extraordinary literary caliber, yet there is not any prolonged critique of this point of his writing. Addressing key constellations of metaphors and ideas, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh indicates the impressive creative coherence underlying the painter’s correspondence and charts van Gogh’s evolving notion of himself as an artist.
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Extra resources for The letters of Vincent van Gogh : a critical study
This massive project, fifteen years in the making, is definitive and provides the most accurate, complete English translation, which I use throughout the present study. As does virtually every other printed version of Van Gogh’s letters, the six-volume 2009 edition calls attention to the author’s literary distinction. Thus, Van Gogh has left us (however “unwittingly”) “a literary monument” (1:9), and “there is broad recognition of the intrinsic qualities of his writing: the personal tone, evocative style and lively language” (1:15).
ISBN 978-1-927356-75-3 (pdf). — ISBN 978-1-927356-76-0 (epub). 1. Gogh, Vincent van, 1853–1890 — Correspondence — History and criticism. I. Title. II. 9492 C2014-900937-2 C2014-900938-0 This book has been published with the help of a grant from the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, through the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for our publishing activities.
Paul’s advice as “words that accompany us and grow up with us, as it were” (90/1:114). In these examples, the homesick sorrow countered by optimism in Van Gogh’s earliest letters is transformed into a more deeply felt sense of loss countered, in turn, by a more intensely felt religious idealism. In the biographical outline in the introduction, I indicated how, in pursuing his newly discovered religious vocation, Van Gogh moved from Paris to England, Dordrecht, Amsterdam, Brussels, and the Borinage before returning in 1881 to his parents in Etten.
The letters of Vincent van Gogh : a critical study by Patrick Grant