" 'You are a grand nerveux, Vincent,' Doctor Rey had told him. 'You never have been normal. But then, no artist is normal; if he were he wouldn't be an artist. Normal men don't create works of art. They eat, sleep, hold down routine jobs and die. You are hypersensitive to life and nature; that's why you are able to interpret for the rest of us. But if you are not careful, that very hypersensitiveness will lead to your destruction. The strain of it breaks every artist in time.'
Vincent knew that to attain the high yellow note which dominated his Arlesian canvasses he had to be on edge, strung up, throbbingly excited, passionately sensitive, his nerves rasped raw. If he allowed himself to get into that state, he could paint again as brilliantly as he had before. "
- Irving Stone Lust for Life