Modernism and the Making of Masud Khan.
MetadataShow full item record
Masud Khan was one of the most controversial psychoanalysts of the post-war period. This thesis argues that modernist literature and culture are central to Khan’s conception and realisation of his psychoanalytic work in Britain from the late nineteen forties onwards. His lifelong engagement with modernist art and writing also shapes Khan’s vision of himself as a ‘self-exile’, and provides the framework for his own imagining of contemporary political life in Europe, Pakistan, and Britain. His psychoanalytic work, thoroughly shaped by the writing of T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and the painting of the cubists, is a complex response to his own sense of his postcolonial modernity, and the rapid social and political changes of the period. By taking Khan as a case study this project explores the intersection of modernist writing and the end of Empire, especially concerning questions of cosmopolitanism, exile, race, and the politics of modernism. It aims to enrich our sense of the history modernism by exploration of this highly idiosyncratic figure. The explicitly modernist bent of Khan’s writing also opens up new readings of his psychoanalytic contemporaries Donald Winnicott, Michael Balint, and Marion Milner that highlight the continuity of their writings with many aspects of modernist culture. More specifically, the study examines the shaping effect of specific ideas and themes in modernist writing on Khan’s conception of subjectivity, whilst also reflecting on the meaning of these translations of cultural life into psychoanalytic theory. Explored are: Joyce’s articulations of ‘epiphany’ and exile, as well as his writing on race and Jewishness; T.S. Eliot’s concept of ‘tradition’ and his writing on culture and community, especially as it allows Khan to imagine his own ‘feudal’ past and ethnic distinctiveness in postwar London; and the painting of Georges Braque and Joan Miró in Khan’s figuration of new and radical forms of self-experience in psychic life.
- Theses