The Untouched Key: Tracing Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness

The Untouched Key: Tracing Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


As in her former books, Alice Miller again focuses 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. When she lifts that veil and brushes it aside, the results are astonishing, amply demonstrated by her analyses of the works of Nietzsche, Picasso, Käthe Kollwitz, Buster Keaton, and others. With the key shunned by so many for so long—childhood—she opens rusty locks 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 11 years? Why did Hitler and Stalin become tyrannical mass murderers? 

Miller investigates these and other questions thoroughly in this book. She draws from her discoveries 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385267649
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/1991
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 1,153,580
Product dimensions: 5.23(w) x 7.93(h) x 0.46(d)

About the Author

Alice Miller (1923-2010) is the author of such classic works as The Drama of the Gifted Child, Prisoners of Childhood, The Body Never Lies, From Rage to Courage, and Free from Lies.

Customer Reviews