Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
New book claims Vincent Van Gogh did not commit suicide
The Telegraph - 17 Oct 2011
A new theory on the death of Vincent Van Gogh has emerged: that he did not commit suicide and was in fact shot by a teenage boy.
Van Gogh died in 1890 aged 37
Van Gogh: The Life, by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, suggests that the most likely cause of Van Gogh's death is at the hands of a third party, believed to be a local boy.
The theory contradicts the accepted version of events, which holds that Van Gogh shot himself in a field, staggering more than a mile back to an inn where he was staying. Before dying 30 hours later, he was asked if he meant to commit suicide, and said: "Yes I believe so".
But this does not explain why the easel and brushes that he had taken to the fields with him that day, not to mention a gun, were never found, and nor was a suicide note.
The book questions whether the artist, who was known to have spent time in an insane asylum, could have got hold of a gun. Full story at The Telegraph.