On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

@Raymondo, further comment:

One would imagine that, with the world-wide access to information throught the internet, or with "a little help from their friends", the concerned individuals COULD seize the opportunity to study and scrutinize the various opinions on offer, and this way WOULD make an effort to see, hear, learn and change. No better place than the world stage to redeem oneself.

Happy those who read between the lines, and take the side of the Wounded.

In their blindness and denial, the parties concerned will only DRAW MORE ATTENTION by their censoring.

And maybe THAT is the best news of all !

Posted on September 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

Puzzles, Cross(ed)Words and Joining-The-Dots for a rainy weekend >>> see the following link for the latest:


Posted on September 9, 2011 at 10:57 am 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

Wow Eliza! where do I begin? Firstly we shouldn't be shooting the messenger: Maria provided a very useful platform with her article, both from the points of view of DFW and Alice Miller. With regards to "the current vogue for seeing mental illness as a purely chemical or biological issue", this is only so because they have FINALLY LET GO the notion of mental illnesses having their roots in genes. You are right to point out that they ALL have their origins (95 per cent) in the environment. I would be very glad to see your writings, your "think piece on Wallace, his problems and his death", especially details and anecdotes of his early experiences in childhood. The article is void of any such information and details seem hard to come by. Perhaps you would paste some links to that effect? And as for cures and treatments, unfortunately there are none coming from the Alice Miller position. With or without medication or supervision. It was doubly-difficult for him as his insights were always seeking support and validation IN A VACUUM, our present-day society, complete with therapists and professionals. He did what he could: expressed himself through his books. But same vacuum, as is evident from his readers and fans, same dead-end.

Posted on April 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

(also, noting your earlier response on April 11 at 1h41pm)
Hello Maria, and of course THANK YOU for your article and the generous debate it has engendered. Why only refer to Alice Miller's first book of over 30 years ago, when she has written so much more, right till her death (today! April 14 2010) as well as the priceless contributions on her website by Readers and herself? Every single idea she put forward has been proved right. Out of YOUR finest universities have come the SCIENTIFIC proof / the pictures and scans, that the early-years abuse, violence or even silent neglect are causing structural changes in the developing brain, with a legacy of scars and lesions. The neuro-scientists and professors CONFIRM these findings, but unfortunately are not able to make the connection and condemn the BEHAVIOURS from adults which cause this damage in children. Of course there will be "chemical imbalances" detectable, but why should we surprised about that? In the light of these very recent discoveries, it could be argued that Alice Miller's books are not so much about Self-Help anymore, but JUST PLAIN COMMON SENSE - (supported by irrefutable evidence).

Posted on April 13, 2011 at 7:01 pm 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

Comfortably Numb ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkJNyQfAprY

Posted on April 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

Hypnosifl: the only person I am defending here is the VICTIM, DAVID. I don't hear too much sympathy for him on the site, only the terrible loss and how much he will be missed. His audience and the World, have been robbed of a Genius, but only HE lost his life. Earlier in the text, Infinite Jest is likened to a "Paean to the 12-Steps." It may be useful to point out here, that AA ideology and Alice Miller just don't mix. Never did and never will. With regards to your concern about my visit to the site, relax: like a watchful eagle, my attention was caught by the reference in Maria's article to Alice Miller. And to say that "...she was a minor part of the article at best..." is slightly disingenuous. Both in the article, and in David's life. Here is a fresh link you may not know about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIjS4K2mQKY

Posted on April 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm 1

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

Why are we not talking about the tragedy that Dave took his life? Here is a man - genius and inspiration to many - and he's dead. Is that not the only show in town? We know that " This man spent a lot of his life in terrible pain, desperate for an explanation and a way out." Why are we not talking about THAT, especially as it seems clear to everyone that this is precisely what he was writing about? It would be interesting to hear more about the details of his childhood. All we're told is that the parents were very fussy about English (plenty of "language", but zero meaningful COMMUNICATION?) and that MAMMY WROTE A BOOK... What a benchmark! But no, it's easier to talk about David's WORK, admired or unfinished, and ignore the tragedy which the WORDS THEMSELVES WANT TO COMMUNICATE. Just as with the paintings of Francis Bacon: we see the most valuable ART but choose to ignore that the images are all born OUT OF UNIMAGINABLE VIOLENCE AND ABUSE INFLICTED IN CHILDHOOD. Or with James Joyce: we celebrate Ulysses as a masterpiece, and even re-enact the whole show every year. But not a word about that the poor bastard wasn't welcome in his own country TO DIE, or that his childhood was steeped in family dysfunction thanks to his drunken father. When we choose to NOT talk about these things, we CONDONE them. So why don't we explore, and PROTEST the things that drove a bright young David to drugs and being depressed - BEFORE HE WAS 15?

Posted on April 9, 2011 at 7:01 pm 1

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

The only person who could have saved David was ALICE MILLER, and he knew it. But even so, it proved too difficult and painful.If only we could have more sympathy for the one who took his own life, we would understand - alas too late - that suicide is ALWAYS the ultimate mean of communication (ie when all else has failed). Bradshaw (to name just one) may have been a stepping stone, a step up on the staircase of "recovery"; but when you get to the top of the stairs, you are warned and admonished by a loud voice, which clamours that "This is NOT a witch-hunt, this is NOT about blaming the parents". This is how Bradshaw introduced his latest, sum-total work(PRSD-2000) and took the wind out of your sails before you could even open your mouth in protestation. Whereas Alice Miller stayed uncompromisingly on your side, right till the end.So why are fans and experts not dwelling more on the contradictions that David's life was?"I was raised in a solid, loving, two-parent family. "But by the age of 15, he is in the grip of depression, addictions and treatment centres. Does that sound NORMAL? Some people say that he loved his mother. "His regard for her was clearly enormous, though, he told Lipsky, "My mother's the best proofreader in the world, Amy's second and I'm third, as far as I've seen." (Amy being Amy Wallace Havens, his sister.) Others see clearly how "Wallace had some complicated and deep-seated issues with regard to the subject of motherhood generally....and Avril Incandenza, "militant grammarian," is a mysterious but also a monstrous figure, whose love is suffocating, all-encompassing, intrusive, terrible.....and how David's writings ARE about himself and his mother who he despises.So why would he choose his mother to be is No1 Proof-reader, if not because he wanted to SHOW her, and her to READ in his own words, what he was TOO AFRAID TO TELL HER? Or was it about seeking approval, or love, or maybe just a whisp of attention...Of course she never acknowledged it and the true message was repeatedly dismissed. And No2 Proof-reader, his sister who was a first class witness. Just as Alice Miller shows about Nietzsche, the audience is more than happy (as here with DFW's audience) to lap up the performance, but ignore the message, rather than hearing the author's pain, and rising against the crime and injustice.Wallace's notes.....especially in Alice Miller's The Drama of the Gifted Child reveal a person who felt himself to be messed up totally and permanently. He felt particularly nailed and revealed to himself by the latter book, one in which he blames his mother for quite a lot of his suffering.

This article speaks volume for present-day dysfunctions, addictions, suicides and their respective stats and rates (of INCREASE) and how NONE of the cures on offer work. Meds have now overtaken Arms manufacturing, and the business of "RECOVERY" figures right there at the top. Except nobody is getting any better. Just as there's no need for Asthma. Or Diabetes!

All a bit simplistic? Perhaps we should all revisit Alice Miller's books and her website. Therein lie all the answers. Free and available. Now let's make sure New Mexico does away with spanking this week.

Goodbye David. I hear you.....

Posted on April 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm 1