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[book cover] Reading Vincent van Gogh

Patrick Grant

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October 2016

9781771991872 (Paperback)
9781771991889 (PDF)
9781771991896 (ePub)


Literary Criticism & Theory / Literature



About the Book

Soon after his death, Vincent van Gogh’s reputation grew and developed through the extraordinary symbiosis evident between his paintings and letters. However it is a formidable task to read and analyze Van Gogh's nearly eight hundred letters due to the sheer bulk and complexity of the collection. Reading Vincent van Gogh is at once an interpretive guide to the letters and a distillation of Van Gogh’s key themes and ideas. This indispensable, synoptic, and interpretive view of the letters as a whole will be equally of interest to scholars and teachers making use of Van Gogh’s letters as it will be to those who have long been fascinated by the artist.

This is the third book by Patrick Grant on the letters of Vincent van Gogh. It builds on his previous work in The Letters of Vincent van Gogh (2014), a practical-critical study, and “My Own Portrait in Writing” (2015), a literary theoretical analysis that draws on the domain of modern literary studies. In the hands of Patrick Grant, the extraordinary literary achievements of Vincent van Gogh are explained and exemplified and claims that the well-known artist was also a great writer are confirmed.


About the Author

Patrick Grant, professor emeritus of English at the University of Victoria, is best known for his studies on literature and religion. He is the author of Imperfection, which was short-listed for the Canada Prize, and of Literature, Rhetoric, and Violence in Northern Ireland, 1968–98.



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Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). It may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided that the original author is credited.


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Select a Chapter

DownloadFront Matter

DownloadTable of Contents

DownloadPreface and Acknowledgements


Privacy and the Public Record

Biography and Beyond

Download1. Shaping Commitments




Download2. Enduring Adversity




Download3. What Holds at the Centre




Download4. The Power of Words



Download5. Matter and Spirit

The Law of the Father


The Ineffable

DownloadAppendix 1: Some Facts About the Letters

DownloadAppendix 2: Suggestions for Further Reading