Library Blog

Russell Xu '17 Reviews Irving Stone's Lust for Life

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lust for Life is a novel based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh by Irving Stone. The novel traced Van Gogh from London to Hague, from Paris to St. Remy, and at last to Auvers. Except for some conversations and details, the novel is totally true, mostly based on letters between Van Gogh and his brother, Theo. Vincent Van Gogh is considered as one of the greatest painters in the 19th century. However, how many of us know that he suffered from poverty, misunderstanding by others through out his life, and epilepsy in his late years. He died young at the age of 37, when he felt that all his energy and his passion had left him.

In the book, what I can feel about Van Gogh is his lust for life, his longing for love, and his passion for painting. Irving Stone carefully captured Van Gogh’s transition and presented them in a plain and delicate tone. He allowed us to look through the eyes of a zealous even maniac man, through the heavy strokes of brushes and the vivid use of color, through the sparkle of "The Starry Night" and the dark suffocation from "Wheatfield with Crows". We may think whether we have any moments in our life, which resemble Van Gogh’s crooked yet passionate experience, to cause consonance in our heart when we look at his paintings.

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