van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 3 letters relate to attitude - Father...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(23 November 1881)
... different - aye, even opposite - views. So I do not consider Father an enemy, but a friend who would be even more my friend if he were less afraid that I might “infect” him with French “errors” (?). I think if Father understood my real intentions, I could often be of some use to him, even with his sermons, because I sometimes see a text in quite a different light. But Father thinks my opinion entirely wrong, considers it contraband, and systematically rejects it. Now in regard to the “case in question,” as Uncle Stricker calls what happened between Kee and me, I must tell you that I have risked an attack on the above-mentioned Mr. S.: by means of a registered letter. I was afraid unregistered letters would be ignored, but he will be obliged to read this one, and in it I have tried to draw his attention to some points which I fear he overlooked or which he would take no notice of. It is a very “undiplomatic” letter, very...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(17 August 1883)
... continue to understand each other. I have quarreled with Father very often, but the bond between us has never quite been broken. Well, let nature simply follow its own course in this - you will become what you must, I too will not remain exactly the same as I am now; let's not suspect each other of absurd things and we shall get on together. And let's not forget that we have known each other from childhood, and that thousands of other things can bring us more and more together. I am a little worried about what seemed to worry you, and I doubt if I know exactly what was the matter, or rather I believe it is caused less by one definite thing than by the fact that there are some points in which our characters differ, and that you understand one thing better, I another. I think it would be well for us to try to stick together. One thing - if I become too much of a burden to you, let the friendship remain, even though you help me less in money matters. I shall...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 15 December 1885)
... think of me, as far as that goes. Certainly it is regrettable that such things much happen. But then, you see, there are certain recollections as, for instance, that up to the last Father spoke and behaved toward me, really, in the same way as the Roman Catholic priest. Can't they understand of their own accord that, for the very reason that you no longer feeling angry, you have definitely become more estranged from them than if they were strangers? Tell Mother so, if you like, for I do not want to say a harsh word to her, but I positively decline to write. And Mother is old, so I do not want to tell her sharply that I refuse to write. Such things have happened to other painters too, and it is one of those things it is better to leave alone. At the museum there is a portrait of Delroche painted by Portaels. During his life he seemed such a big man, but how hollow and empty he proved to be afterward! Manet and Courbet did not seem serious during their lives,...

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