The Untouched Key

The Untouched Key

Tracing Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness

Book - 1990
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Random House, Inc.
As in her former books, Alice Miller again focusses on facts. She is as determined as ever to cut through the veil that, for thousands of years now, has been so meticulously woven to shroud the truth. And when she lifts that veil and brushes it aside, the results are astonishing, as is amply demonstrated by her analyses of the works of Nietzsche, Picasso, Kollwitz, Keaton and others. With the key shunned by so many for so long - childhood - she opens rusty looks and offers her readers a wealth of unexpected perspectives.What did Picasso express in "Guernica"? Why did Buster Keaton never smile? Why did Nietzsche heap so much opprobrium on women and religion, and lose his mind for eleven years? Why did Hitler and Stalin become tyrannical mass murderers? Alice Miller investigates these and other questions thoroughly in this book. She draws from her discoveries the conclusion that human beings are not "innately" destructive, that they are made that way by ignorance, abuse, and neglect, particularly if no sympathetic witness comes to their aid. She also shows why some mistreated children do not become criminals but instead bear witness as artists to the truth about their childhoods, even though in purely intuitive and unconscious ways.

Baker & Taylor
Examines the connection of childhood traumas with both adult creativity and destructiveness

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c1990
ISBN: 9780385267632
Characteristics: viii, 180 p. : ill. ; 22 cm


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"if Nietzsche had not been forced to learn as a child that one must master an 'unbearable fit of sobbing,' if he had simply been ALLOWED to sob, then humanity would have been one philosopher poorer, but in return the life of a human being named Nietzsche would have been richer. And who knows what that VITAL Nietzsche would THEN have been able to give humanity?" "' From the beginning, Nietzsche says (in Zarathustra), the priests used Jesus to attain power for themselves.'" "If he had been able to see THE WAY THE WOMEN IN HIS CHILDHOOD REALLY WERE, then it would not have been necessary for him to generalize by making ALL women into witches and serpents and to hate them all." Ms. Miller also has some cogent analysis of THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, as well as Dostoevsky's father (who was brutally murdered by his serfs ( an old word for slaves). Moreover, there is a very funny portrait of Buster Keaton, along with her analysis of the artist. Stalin, too, to go along with her understanding of what made Hitler a hitler, in FOR HIS OWN GOOD.


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