van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 9 letters relate to psychology - insomnia...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letters from his Parents to Theo van Gogh
... not given any prospects, and I am worried. According to Mr. Plugge's letter, he cannot sleep and seems to be in a nervous condition. Therefore I want to go and see for myself what we should do. [Mother] Tomorrow is the end of the three month period; we are almost sure he will not be accepted. We don't talk about it to anybody, don't do that either. We say to the people who know that Father will go on a journey that Vincent is ill. You can well imagine what a sad journey. Mr. Plugge asked us to come and take him home. What is going to become of all this? Reverend van Gogh to Reverend Péron, Protestant Minister at Dour. 5 December 1878 Dear Sir, Having received a letter from my son Vincent, who wrote that he had addressed himself to you to ask for some work, and who said to you, Sir, wished to have some more information about him from me, his father, I hasten to comply with your request by telling you: That it is really my son who, having been looking...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(27 May 1882)
... I hope you will send something. A week ago I felt very faint from continuous sleeplessness. Now that I have had some luck with a few drawings and the order for C. M. is almost finished, I have new courage and am a little calmer. But, brother, do write to me soon and deliver me from the landlord, for you know he won't be put off. Rappard's visit has cheered me up; he seems to work very hard. I have received 2.50 guilders from him because he saw a tear in one of the drawings and said, You must have that repaired. That's true, I said, but I haven't the money, and the drawing must be sent off. Then he readily said that he would be pleased to give me it; he would have given even more, but I wouldn't take it, and gave him a whole lot of wood engravings and a drawing in exchange. It was one for C. M., and as it was the best of them all, the money to have it repaired was very welcome. That same drawing will perhaps be sold afterward for 50 guilders or...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(8 or 9 June 1882)
... where I shall stay only a fortnight, however. For three weeks I have been suffering from insomnia and low fever, and
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(9 September 1882)
... what beautiful things are among them! At night when I cannot sleep, which often happens, I always look at the wood engravings with renewed pleasure. Another famous draughtsman is G. Mahoney, who illustrated the Household Edition of Dickens. I think that painting will teach me to interpret the light better, which should bring a great change in my drawings, too. How many difficulties have to be overcome before one can express something, but those very difficulties are the stimulus. Enclosed is another sketch of the woods. I made a large study of it . I feel such creative power in myself that I know for sure that the time will arrive when, so to speak, I shall regularly make something good every day. But very rarely a day passes that I do not make something, though it is not yet the real thing I want to make. Well, sometimes it seems to me that I might soon become productive. I would not be at all surprised if it should happen ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(19 September 1882)
... me, nor is it something I dislike doing. It is already late. I have not slept well these last few nights. It is all that beautiful autumn scenery that I have on my mind, and the desire to profit by it. But I wish I could sleep at the right time, and I try my best, for it makes me nervous; but there is no help for it. How do you feel? I hope you do not have too many cares, for that doesn't improve one's health. I think if I were not in the open air so much and found less pleasure in my painting, I should soon become melancholy. But being in the open air and working with animation are things which renew and keep up our strength. It is only at times when I am overtired that I feel thoroughly miserable, but for the rest I believe I shall regain my health. Adieu, a handshake in thought, and write me what I should do - send you a painted study or wait. And know that I think of you every day and believe me, Yours Sincerely, Vincent ...

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