van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 61 letters relate to health - mental...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 22 March 1889)
... me the right to go out into the town. As far as I can judge, I am not properly speaking a madman. You will see that the canvases I have done in the intervals are steady and not inferior to the others. I miss the work more than it tires me. Certainly I should be pleased to see Signac, if he has to pass through here after all. Then they must let me go out with him to show him my canvases. Perhaps it would have been a good thing for me to accompany him where he was going, and if we had tried to find a new place together, but there, there isn't much likelihood of that now, so what's the use of his putting himself out on purpose to come and see me? There is one very good thing in your letter, where you say that one must not let oneself have any illusions about life. The thing is to put up with the real facts of your destiny, and then there you are. I am writing in haste to send off this letter, which will, however, perhaps only reach you on Sunday, when...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(24 March 1889)
... to theirs, but I do say parallel. And that is what the first and last cause of my aberration was. Do you know those words of a Dutch poet's - “Ik ben aan d'aard gehecht met meer dan aardse banden”? [I am attached to the earth by more than earthly ties.] That is what I have experienced in the midst of much suffering - above all - in my so-called mental illness. Unfortunately I have a handicraft which I do not know well enough to express myself as I should like. I pull myself up short for fear of a relapse, and I pass on to something else.
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(26 March 1889)
... which often has to be of a petty nature. Summarizing, I emphatically assure you that I found him in a condition of perfect health and sanity. There is only one thing he wishes - to be able to work in tranquillity. So do your best to grant him this happiness. How dismal the life he is living must be for him. I shake your hand cordially, dear Mr. Van Gogh. P. Signac Letters to be called for at Cassis. ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(29 March 1889)
... to give them my very best regards. These last three months do seem so strange to me. Sometimes moods of indescribable mental anguish, sometimes moments when the veil of time and the fatality of circumstances seemed to be torn apart for an instant. Certainly you are right after all, damn well right - even allowing for hope, the thing to do is to accept the probably disastrous reality. I am hoping once again to throw myself wholly into my work, in which I've fallen behind. Oh, I must not forget to tell you a thing I have very often thought of. Quite accidentally I found in an article in an old newspaper some words written on an ancient tomb in the country between here and Carpentras. Here is this very, very, very old epitaph, say dating from the time of Faubert's Salammbô. “Thebe, daughter of Thelhui, priestess of Osiris, who never complained of anyone.” If you see Gauguin, you should tell him that. And I thought of a faded woman, you have...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Paul Signac
(c. 10 April 1889)
... character of the seaside scenery there. Since your visit my head has just about returned to its normal state, and for the time being I desire nothing better than that this will last. Above all it will depend on a very sober way of living. I intend to stay here for the next few months at least; I have rented an apartment consisting of two very small rooms.

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