The work is an absolute necessity for me. I can’t put it off, I don’t care for anything but the work; that is to say, the pleasure in something else ceases at once and I become melancholy when I can’t go on with my work. Then I feel like a weaver who sees that his threads are tangled, and the pattern he had on the loom is gone to hell, and all his thought and exertion is lost.

Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) Dutch painter
Letter to Theo Van Gogh (3 Jun 1883)
    (Source)

Quoted in A. Lubin, Stranger on the Earth : A Psychological Biography of Vincent Van Gogh (1996).

Alt. trans.: "For me, the work is an absolute necessity. I cannot put it off; I don't care for anything else; that is to say, the pleasure in something else ceases at once, and I become melancholy when I cannot go on with my work. I feel then as the weaver does when he sees that his threads have got tangled, the pattern he had on the loom has gone to the deuce, and his exertion and deliberation are lost." [Quoted in I. & J. Stone, ed., Dear Theo: the Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh (1995)]

Alt. trans.: "For me work is an absolute necessity, indeed I can’t really drag it out, 2v:7 I take no more pleasure in anything than in work, that’s to say, pleasure in other things stops immediately and I become melancholy if I can’t get on with the work. Then I feel like a weaver when he sees his threads getting tangled and the pattern that he had on the loom going to the devil and his thought and effort coming to nothing."
Added on 23-Jan-13 | Last updated 4-Feb-13
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2 Responses to Letter to Theo Van Gogh (3 Jun 1883)

  1. Peter says:

    Or in the new complete edition online: http://vangoghletters.org/vg/letters/let348/letter.html

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