Home/Vol1.No.1. / Cusp The Journal-June 2015-Article index 7 / Author : Sabah Siddiqui

Brown Skin, Brown Mask
Sabah Siddiqui

What outrage are you going to commit on me?
depends of how much you are going to provoke me.
When Spring Comes (Khan, 1988)

As I began to read of Mohammed Masud Raza Khan (1924 – 1989), the Pakistani psychoanalyst practicing in London, I was stumped by the enigma he presented. He came to Oxford to study English literature, but became an analyst instead, and finally a training psychoanalyst. He was supervised by the great analysts –Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, Donald Winnicott, Marion Milner, and Clifford Scott – and was deemed ready to practice, all at the young age of twenty-six! In turn, he supervised psychoanalysts like Christopher Bollas and Adam Phillips. On both sides, as a trainee and as a trainer, he seems to have been highly regarded. Here is a man who is part of the weave that makes the British Independent school what it is –a school of psychoanalysis that is characterized by the emphasis it places on ‘caring’, ‘holding’, and ‘relating’ to the patient. Could it be that this brilliant analyst became so caught up with the image of being brilliant that neither he, nor his analyst (Winnicott), could foresee what is reported as his downfall? Or did the death of Winnicott in 1971 affect Khan so much that he allowed himself to spiral down till he was cast out of the British Psycho-analytical Society as he battled alcoholism and cancer alone? It seemed to me that he lived his life hard; I imagine he rode his race horses hard as well. The question still remains - who was he?

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