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21 Feb 2011
This is a fine collection of Vincent van Gogh's letters. It's an intimate look at his interior life, and it's quite special to be able to delve into this artist's thoughts and feelings, how he looks at the world, and how he interacts with the people closest to him.

Here is an excerpt that I particularly liked:

Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Paris, January 1876


Dear Theo,

Thanks for your letter, write to me often, for I long to hear from you in these days. Write me at length, speak to me of your daily life, you see that I am doing the same. What you told me about Boks was very interesting, how he arranged his studio, and that you go there often - keep me well informed about those things.

We feel lonely now and then and long for friends and think we should be quite different and happier if we found a friend of whom we might say: "He is the one." But you, too, will begin to learn that there is much self-deception behind this longing; if we yielded too much to it, it would lead us from the road.

There is a phrase that haunts me these days - it is today's text, "His children will seek to please the poor."

And now here is some news: my friend Gladwell is moving. One of the employees of the printing office convinced him to come and lodge with him; for quite a while he did everything he could to persuade him.

I know that Gladwell made this decision without thinking about it, I regret his departure very much; it will be soon, probably towards the end of the month.

For several days we have had a mouse in our "cabin", which is what we call our room. Every night, we put bread on the floor for it, and it knows already where to find it.

I have been reading the ads in the English newspapers, and I have already answered some of them. Let us hope for success.

Kind regards to Roos and others if they ask about me, and write soon. À Dieu. Tell me if Mr. Tersteeg mentions me to you; give him my kindest regards whenever I write to you. Always

Your loving brother, Vincent

At this time, Vincent was 22 year old.

Source: Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written January 1876 in Paris. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 052. (via).

More letters can be found here, and below is a photo from the book, Vincent van Gogh – The Letters (click here for the full version):