Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?

What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?

Reading the article in the link above the quotes below by Alice Miller come to mind:

It is a great mistake to imagine that one can resolve traumas in a symbolic fashion. If that were possible, poets, painters, and other artists would be able to resolve their pain through creativity. This is not the case, however. Creativity helps us channel the pain of trauma into symbolic acts; it doesn't help us resolve it. If symbolic revenge for maltreatment received in childhood were effective, then dictators would eventually stop humiliating and torturing their fellow human beings. As long as they choose to deceive themselves about who really deserves their hatred, however, and as long as they go on feeding that hatred in symbolic form instead of experiencing and resolving it within the context of their own childhood, their hunger for revenge will remain insatiable (see Miller 1990a).” read more here

7. You have also related the works of famous writers like Schiller, Nietzsche, Proust, Rimbaud, Kafka etc. to their childhood experiences, concluding that the books they produced were encrypted accounts of suppressed childhood dramas. This is a new and unusual perspective on literary production. Have you identified such links between other kinds of artist and their works?
7. Yes, I find them in all the biographies I have come across so far. After all, it’s an entirely logical thing. Children learn at a very early stage what their parents instill into them. So if they experience violence, that’s what they learn. As they are prohibited from actually demonstrating what they have learned, they may initially be incredibly obedient and remarkably “good” children, as the Auschwitz commander Rudolf Höss reveals. It is only later that they demonstrate the brutality they have learned from their parents. Artists often express unconsciously what they survived in childhood and later repressed. They do it mostly in a coded manner. Unfortunately. this still appears to be forbidden knowledge, so far no one has cued in to my research. When individuals run amok, EVERYONE insists without a second thought that they have ABSOLUTELY no idea what can have prompted an adolescent to do so, and in the press no reference is ever made to their childhood. In all cases, the parents are spared this kind of inquiry. So how can readers understand how violence is learned if no one helps them?

8. You yourself are a painter, and you have engaged with your childhood experiences in your pictures, published in the book Bilder meines Lebens (Pictures of My Life, Suhrkamp 2006) and on your internet site. How has the art world responded to this overt way of coming to terms with childhood?
8.It has been ignored altogether. I have merely been praised for my artistic achievements. It is as if there was some conspiracy prohibiting any mention of childhood. What I believe is behind this attitude is the childhood fear we all have inside us, the fear that our parents would punish us if we dared to query what they have done. read more HERE


  1. The fantasies expressed in literature, art, fairy tales, and dreams often unconsciously convey early childhood experiences in a symbolic way.
  2. This symbolic testimony is tolerated in our culture thanks to society’s chronic ignorance of the truth concerning childhood; if the import of these fantasies were understood, they would be rejected.
  3. A past crime cannot be undone by our understanding of the perpetrator’s blindness and unfulfilled needs.
  4. New crimes, however, can be prevented, if the victims begin to see and be aware of what has been done to them.
  5. Therefore, the reports of victims will be able to bring about more awareness, consciousness, and sense of responsibility in society at large.  Read more Here
Children who have sensed in such exchanges that their injuries and their feelings are taken seriously by their parents and that their dignity is respected are also more immune to the detrimental effects of television than those who harbor unconscious, suppressed desires for revenge on their parents and for that reason identify with scenes of violence on the screen. Politicians may envisage the prohibition of violence on television as a remedy, but this is unlikely to unlikely to have much effect.
By contrast, children who have been informed about the early injuries inflicted on them will be much more critical of brutal movies or quickly lose interest in them altogether. They may even find it easier to see through the dissociated sadism of the movie-makers than do the many adults who are unwilling to face up to the suffering of the maltreated children they once were. Such adults may be fascinated by scenes of violence without suspecting that they are being forced to consume the emotional trash peddled as “art” by filmmakers who are unaware that they are in fact parading their own histories.
This was forcibly brought home to me by an interview with a respected American film directed fond of including repulsive monsters and sadistic sex scenes in his movies. He said that modern film technology had made it possible for him to demonstrate that love has many faces and that sadistic sex is one of them. He appeared completely oblivious of where, when, and from whom he was forced to adopt this confusing philosophy as a small child, and this ignorance is quite likely to accompany him to the end of his days. His self-styled “art” enables him both to tell his own story and to erase it from his memory at the same time. Naturally, such blindness has severe social consequences. Read more HERE
Not every victim becomes an abuser, but every abuser was once a victim of abuse and no matter what anyone says this is a fact. Violence is not genetic, it’s learned.

To read more about my experiences with the mob of sociopaths or narcissists at my last job read my blog Experienced Knowledge