Alice Miller’s Powerchord

The opening graph to Alice Miller’s classic, Prisoners of Childhood: The Search For The True Self, (original title) strikes like a bell. I never tire of reading it:

“We live in a culture that encourages us not to take our own suffering seriously, but rather to make light of it or even to laugh about it. What is more, this attitude is regarded as a virtue, and many people–of whom I used to be one–are proud of their lack of sensitivity toward their own fate and particularly their fate as a child. I have tried to demonstrate in my books why the disastrous belief that this attitude is a desirable one has been held so tenaciously and to point out the tragic conditions it helps to conceal.”

—Alice Miller, The Drama of The Gifted Child: The Search For The True Self

About Celia Farber

Celia Farber is a journalist, author, and editor based in New York City, who grew up in Sweden and New York City. Farber has written on a variety of subjects for SPIN, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Harper’s, Salon, New York Press, and many more. In 2008, Celia Farber won the Semmelweis International Society’s Clean Hands Award For Investigative Journalism.


  1. Karl says:

    I love that we take ourselves so seriously, yet take our former selves so lightly.
    Vonnegut posited that the Tralfamadorians, forth-dimensional beings, see us as
    A wormlike being, baby at one end, granny at the other, all moments

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