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Rubinfine, D.L. (1966). Comment on Mr Khan's Paper. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 47:314-318.

(1966). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 47:314-318

Comment on Mr Khan's Paper

David L. Rubinfine

It is a great pleasure to discuss a paper by Mr Khan, for in its vivid statements, its speculative breadth, its appeal to the senses, and its freedom from the encumbrance of dogma, it is an unabashed and courageous demand for argument.

It would seem as though Khan has intended to present us with a theoretical paper, since the clinical data are apparently too general for closely reasoned exploration. For example, he does not tell us whether his patients were male or female. I shall assume they are all male. Neither does he tell us at what age they were separated from their mothers, nor how long she was away and when she returned, nor whether there were siblings. I shall proceed on the premise that these data were not relevant to Khan's central theme.

What do we know about these people from Khan's description? We seem to know an amazing amount, for in these three patients Khan has selected a type so familiar that his description instantly stirs recognition. He conjures up for us a picture of a charming, articulate man, versed in the art of seduction and, to quote his own adjectives, 'active', 'well-adapted', 'eager', 'adventurous', and at first glance, appearing to possess 'excessive sociability'. However, this is only at first glance. The analyst gradually discovers (or is allowed to discover) that there is more to these patients than merely extroverted behaviour, a lot of socializing, partying and crowd-pleasing.

In fact, contrary to all appearances, underneath their sociable façade, frequent and random sexual experiences and venturesome manners they are really unhappy.

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