van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 7 letters relate to food-and-drink - alcohol...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(29 June 1888)
... of at once in a single half hour. After that, the only thing to bring ease and distraction, in my case and other people's too, is to stun oneself with a lot of drinking or heavy smoking. Not very virtuous, no doubt, but it's to return to...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 22 July 1888)
... my work, and come up again with my studies; if the storm within gets too loud, I take a glass too much to stun myself. Cracked, of course; when you look at what one ought to be. But in the old days I used to feel less of a painter,...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 21 April 1889)
... the more; but I can't say it as I felt it. Meanwhile you do understand that if alcohol has undoubtedly been one of the great causes of my madness, then it came on very slowly and will go away slowly too, assuming it does go, of course. Or the same thing...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(6 July 1889)
... as it seems to me - pretty relative. I live soberly because I have a chance to, I drank in the past because I did not quite know how to do otherwise. Anyway, I don't care in the least!!! Very deliberate sobriety - it's true - leads nevertheless to...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Wilhelmina van Gogh
(c. 20-22 October 1889)
... crises I have are of an epileptic nature. Consequently alcohol is also not the cause, though it must be understood that it does me no good either. But it is difficult to return to one's ordinary way of life while one is too despondent over ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Mr. and Mrs. Ginoux
(c. 12 June 1890)
... at my pictures. And this is not the end. Besides, it is a certain fact that I have done better work than before since I stopped drinking, and that is so much gained. But still I often think of you all, one cannot do what one wants in life....
Newspaper article by Anton Kerssemakers
(14 April 1912)
... and he calmly went on eating. On the other hand he liked to have some brandy in his flask on his rambles, and he would not have liked to do without it; but as far as I know this was the only luxury he permitted himself. His studio...

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