I don't think that living through an artificial self is all that uncommon.
May 25, 2010 8:42 PM   Subscribe

Professional oboe player, senior economist in the UK Treasury, fellow of King's College, Cambridge, son-in-law of Jacob Epstein (and model for his statue of St Michael). Wynne Godley, who also wrote about his 'disastrous encounter' with the psychoanalyst Masud Khan in the 1960s, died last week.

I read the obituary and the piece about Masud Khan (who I'd never heard of before) on Sunday, but was too lazy to write up a post. Today I was in a café somewhere on the east coast of the USA and overheard a conversation about Khan. Obviously a sign that I had to write this post.

posted by lapsangsouchong (17 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This being MeFi and all, you had me right at "professional oboe player"
posted by timsteil at 8:44 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by unSane at 9:18 PM on May 25, 2010

Oboe? Oh boy!

Can I start Khan-linking here now?
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:40 PM on May 25, 2010

I get the 'Cassandra' but why the 'Fens'?
posted by unliteral at 10:35 PM on May 25, 2010

Presumably because Cambridge lies within the old area of the Fens before the drainage in early modern times reduced the area substantially.
posted by Abiezer at 10:58 PM on May 25, 2010

Ah! thanks Abiezer.
posted by unliteral at 11:14 PM on May 25, 2010

I have never heard of this person before, but am enjoying the 'disastrous encounter' article very much. I also used to play the oboe very badly, in a previous life; so what-timsteil-said.
posted by nihraguk at 11:16 PM on May 25, 2010

The oboe is one of my favorite instruments of all time, and I salute anyone who can make it sound like anything other than a choking duck.

posted by spinifex23 at 11:18 PM on May 25, 2010

But what recommendation could I now make to someone in need of help? One answer might be: ‘Ask the President of the British Psychoanalytic Society.’

posted by yoHighness at 12:21 AM on May 26, 2010

Neat post. Thanks, lapsangsouchong.
posted by homunculus at 1:00 AM on May 26, 2010

The "disastrous encounter" article was fascinating. But it amazed me, that Masud Khan's brand of psychological care would have been considered okay by any sane person, even back in 1966. Seriously? Khan was abusing his patients, emotionally, physically and sexually. Not that crappy shrinks aren't still out there, but this guy wasn't even pretending to help his patients. He was too busy trying to be a Lothario A-Go-Go/SWF or whatever. "Let's talk about me! Let's sit around and exchange insults. Let me slag off my other patient and try to set you up on a date with her, Wynne, even though you're married. Wanna hang out with my wife and hear us drink and argue and attack each other? Jolly good!" The WTF is unending with this guy. And then he attacks Wynne's wife... wow. Yeah.

So why on earth Wynne's original doctor, Winnicott, recommend this insane, unstable douchebag in the first place? The mind boggles.

So I'll say it. KHAAAAAAN!!!!
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 1:13 AM on May 26, 2010

Fascinating articles, and a fascinating man. I love the LRB; they are the only publication I can think of who will consider printing such a long and thoughtful article as the "disastrous encounter" one.
posted by handee at 3:40 AM on May 26, 2010

Masud Khan wrote some interesting papers which gave him his a reputation quite different from the one he ended up with (read his wikipedia entry). Today, he's mainly associated with his antisemitism and sleeping with his patients. I don't see it in the wikipedia article, but he has been quoted as saying something to the effect that at least he only sleeps with his own patients, unlike his colleagues.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:20 AM on May 26, 2010

If I remember correctly Kahn was Jeffrey Masson's analyst for awhile. He writes about Khan's insanity in one of his books: _Final Analysis_?
posted by DMelanogaster at 5:08 AM on May 26, 2010

Wikipedia quotes Masson quoting Khan: “Khan told me: "Nobody wants to say anything publicly because I know too much about all of them. If we were all to be honest with each other, that would be the end of British psychoanalysis."
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:34 AM on May 26, 2010


I find that whole extended family completely fascinating. I remember visiting the Garman-Ryan collection and being flabbergasted to learn Kitty Epstein was still alive, so I'm even more surprised to see she's outlived her husband.

Has anybody done an FPP on the Garman sisters or the various Epsteins? Because that would be awesome...
posted by the latin mouse at 2:59 PM on May 26, 2010

The 'disastrous encounter' article created huge shockwaves among British psychoanalysts, and caused the British Psycho-Analytical Society to call a special meeting, 'Masud Khan and Winnicott: What Is To Be Learnt In The Light Of Wynne Godley's Revelations?' You can read more about it here, in a long article by Robert Boynton with more riveting and appalling stories about Khan's behaviour. (I particularly like the story about Khan interrupting a lecture by Jacques Lacan to correct him on various points of Lacanian theory.)
posted by verstegan at 11:25 AM on May 28, 2010

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