Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Bits & pieces, six

When I finished my masters, I meant to write something about the Wynne Godley story — how he was appallingly treated by the analyst Masud Khan and how that scandal was dealt with by the psychoanalytic establishment and what meaning and resonance that story still has. But I didn't do, did I? So here is his obituary, which tells some of the story anyway. It's an important tale and there's more here.

PS In case you're wondering why one of those links takes you to a piece of ecclesiastical sculpture, it's because his head was the model for one of the figures.

3 comments:

Lo Jardinier said...

The Boynton piece told a gripping story very well. Apart from the misuse of position, an element struck me I hadn't thought of before in connection with this saga, and that's the power of the psychoanalytic relationship. We're so often used to thinking it's far-fetched and can't prove results that we forget the forces at play on the couch.
And the piece joined up two separate things for me, the other being my wife's story of getting, at the age of ten, Svetlana Beriosova's autograph at her dressing room in Covent Garden, when the guardian of the dressing room door was her husband - none other than Masud Khan.

Peter Silverton said...

When I looked at the previous years courses, I noticed that at one point, they had a whole seminar on the Khan affair but interest in it seems to have faded. Glen Gabbard, the US analyst (who also writes about things like The Sopranos from a psychoanalytic perspective), has done some really excellent writing on the dangers of the therapeutic dyad but, for some reason, he is little read this side of the Atlantic. Oh, the great psychoanalytic theory wars. I always intended to write something about them. I don't have anything particularly original to add but I am/was regularly struck by how warping the Klein/Freud conflicts have been and how there seems not enough interest in resolving them - publicly anyway. I suspect that in private, they are long finished with, only kept alive by the small number of ideologues who publish in the journals — and give long boring speeches (which I've sat through).

Lo Jardinier said...

I am reminded of some of my experiences in politics: smaller the numbers, more vituperative the debate, and less the interest for the vast majority not involved. You were wise to set your intentions aside.