October 18, 2009

Van Gogh’s letters and Max Havelaar in English

Filed under: Art,History,Literature by Branko Collin @ 11:34 am

English translations of Vincent van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo have been released in a 6 volume boxed set by the Van Gogh Museum in a 15-year-long cooperation with the Huygens Instituut. The original letters in French and Dutch have also been reproduced.

The entire set contains all the pictures referenced in the letters, that is, all 4,300 of them, The Guardian reports.

If you don’t feel like shelling out the 325 UKP that the set is undoubtedly worth, you can also read the letters and their translations at vangoghletters.org. The Huygens Instituut is part of the Dutch academy for sciences.

Story via Eamelje.net (Dutch), who in a totally unrelated story also points out that another Dutch giant of the 19th century, writer Multatuli, published his masterpiece Max Havelaar 150 years ago last Tuesday. The Havelaar has been in translation for a long time, and a public domain English version can be found at Google Books.

If you do not like PDF or EPUB, you might be able to extract the HTML version from the EPUB file (which is just a ZIP archive under a different name).


Tags: , , , , ,

April 8, 2007

No conviction for self-proclaimed chocolate criminal

Filed under: Food & Drink,Sustainability by Branko Collin @ 12:17 am

tony_chocolonely.jpgOn Thursday the criminal court in Amsterdam threw out a case against reporter Teun van de Keuken for complicity in slavery. Van de Keuken, who co-hosts a consumer advocacy show on TV called ‘Keuringsdienst van Waarde’ (a pun referring to the Dutch Food and Drug Administration), instigated the case against himself after eating a number of chocolate bars that he claimed were produced by slaves. During the case, the court heard testimony of a former slave who was forced to work on a cocoa plantation when he was a child.

The case was dismissed on technical grounds, since Van de Keuken himself was not a harmed party, and therefore could not initiate the prosecution against himself. Van de Keuken is now contemplating a civil suit.

Van de Keuken started his own guaranteed slave-free chocolate brand two years ago called Tony’s Chocolonely, using cocoa produced by Ghana’s Kuapa Kokoo co-op. The chocolate bars were made in co-operation with Dutch fair trade company Max Havelaar.

Earlier this year, Van de Keuken was sued unsuccessfully by chocolate importer Bellissimo Foods, who claimed that it is impossible to produce slave-free chocolate. Irony is dead.

Tags: , , , ,