I've long since finished reading Lust for Life but with law school finals coming ever closer who has time to read anything but textbooks? I'm averaging only about 1/2 page a day of leisure reading in Annals of the Former World. Come to think of it, maybe I'm just appropriately reading it at the pace of geological time. I just finished where he talks about how if the world's history were a calendar year, dinosaurs would appear mid-December and all of human history takes place on New Year's Eve. (You've heard this analogy before, yes?) Rocks and mountains and plates and things build a mighty earth, but it takes a while. Maybe that's what I'm up to.
But then there's Vincent, and Lust. Art. Creation. God-like notions. Right, it all ties together.
Vincent walks and talks with his friend, a self-professed simpler man. His friend, Roulin, expresses some dismay at the evil in the world, and why would a good god let it happen this way, and so on.
"'I know, Roulin, but I feel more and more that we must not judge God by this world. It's just a study that didn't come off. What can you do in a study that has gone wrong if you are fond of the artist? You do not find much to criticize; you hold your tongue. But you have a right to ask for somehing better.'
'Yes that's it,' exclaimed Roulin, 'something just a tiny bit better.'
'We should have to see some other works by the same hand before we judge him. This world was evidently botched up in a hurry on one of his bad days, when the artist did not have his wits about him.'
'Then you think there are other worlds besides this, Monsieur?'
'I don't know Roulin. I gave up thinking about that sort of thing when I became interested in my work. But this life seems so incomplete doesn't it? Sometimes I think that just as trains and carriages are means of locomotion to get us from one place to another on this earth, so typhoid and consumption are means of locomotion to get us from one world to another.'
'Ah, you think of things, you artists.'
-- Irving Stone's Lust for Life pp. 386 - 387