It wasn’t cheerful, but not sad either, it was — beautiful.

Slagroomtaart and coffee accompanied the occasion of Van Gogh’s 165th birthday, alongside his letters and descriptions of the colors of the sky. I know no better definition of the word Art than this, ‘Art is man added to nature’, nature, reality, truth, but with a meaning, with an interpretation, with a character that the artist brings out and to…

When you have no real life then you live with mirages.

If I wanted to order a ring for myself, the inscription I should choose would be: “Nothing passes away.” I believe that nothing passes away without leaving a trace, and that every step we take, however small, has significance for our present and our future existence. What I have been through has not been for…

Les Petits Riens.

My head and my hands are so fully occupied with my third act, that it would not be wonderful if I turned into a third act myself, for it alone has cost me more trouble than the entire opera; there is scarcely a scene in it which is not interesting to the greatest degree. Munich,…

…but I destroy myself thereby.

Summer is indeed a burden in the town… Of course, I try to keep all alluring thoughts out of my head, but can’t always succeed; my early days, with their fresh impressions, storm in on my soul, and I live all the past over again… Human beings have an incredible amount of endurance and will…

The excellency of every art is its intensity…

Heart! Thou and I are here sad and alone; I say, why did I laugh! O mortal pain! O Darkness! Darkness! ever must I moan, To question Heaven and Hell and Heart in vain. Why did I laugh tonight? No voice will tell Mr. Keats, meeting him (William Wordsworth) one day at Mr. Haydon’s, —…

The natural state of the soul is rest!

Here’s a whole fortnight that my mind and fingers have been working like two lost spirits, = Homer, the Bible, Plato, Locke, Byron, Hugo, Lamartine, Chateaubriand, Beethoven, Bach, Hummel, Mozart, Weber, are all around me. I study them, meditate on them, devour them with fury… Liszt in a Letter to Pierre Wolf – Paris, May…

He had been born for hopes and for joys…

Everyone saw in my face evil traits that I didn’t possess. But they assumed I did, and so they developed. I was modest, and was accused of being deceitful: I became secretive. I had a strong sense of good and evil; instead of kindness I received nothing but insults, so I grew resentful. I was…

But I will write in spite of everything.

“This tremendous world I have inside of me. How to free myself, and this world, without tearing myself to pieces. And rather tear myself to a thousand pieces than be buried with this world within me.” from his Diaries “I am constantly trying to communicate something incommunicable, to explain something inexplicable, to tell about something I…

To live, to err, to fall, to triumph.

In Joyce, one can find the boundaries of tradition and innovation closely entwined. Perhaps no other author can perfectly embody that turn-of-the-century decadent style with the desire to explore a new world free of the literary conventions and convictions that had previously reigned. And while reading his work, one can find that eagerness and excitement…

How weary we are of wandering…

As much a controversy and countless consideration there has been, Richard Strauss’s permanence on a pantheon of composers remains undeniable. How can it be otherwise, when one hears the soaring heights of his Alpensinfonie or tastes the decadent rejoicements of Der Rosenkavalier? He remains a man that embodies a time and its attitudes, perhaps in all…

I am free as air, and the whole world is my haven.

But whether I put the question to my head, heart, or reason, view it in the light of past, present, or future, or according to my abilities, hopes, or prospects, everything from my childhood onwards points to an artistic career. Ask yourself frankly, as you think about my childhood, boyhood, and early manhood, in what…