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Guarton, G.B. (1999). Letter to the Editor. Contemp. Psychoanal., 35(4):741-747.

(1999). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 35(4):741-747

Letter to the Editor

Gladys Branly Guarton, Ph.D.

Dear Editor:

I welcome and thank you for the opportunity to reply to Linda Hopkins's thoughtful and considered letter to you concerning my article in your April 1999 issue, in the hope that it might shed light on a confusing and controversial subject.

First, I will address the factual material in my article that Dr. Hopkins deems incorrect, and which she discusses in sections of her letter numbered 1, 2, and 6. Until I read Judy Cooper's (1993) book on the life of Masud Khan and Linda Hopkins's (1998) article in your journal, my knowledge of M. Masud R. Khan was largely limited to his writing. Accordingly, Cooper and Hopkins are the sources of the factual material I quote, and thus, I am unable to validate either one of the two sources when their facts differ from one another, as occurs with the material Hopkins discusses in section 2 of her letter. I believe, however, it is important to point out a pertinent factual omission on Hopkins's part (section 1 of her letter), when she disagrees with my statement that “Winnicott was a father who held Khan maternally, and his father seems to have done the same” (p. 304). Hopkins explains that, according to her research, Khan's father was “tall, robust, charismatic, extremely authoritarian, and, at times, cruel.” She believes that he was overly intimidating, and concludes that neither Khan's father nor Winnicott were able to provide Khan with experiences of object usage involving the survival of rage, because “Winnicott was too fragile and his father too dangerous.” Hopkins's omission involves the fact that Khan's father was seventy-eight and his mother nineteen when Khan was born. Although his underscores the super-vitality of Khan's father, Khan's personal experience of him, in his eighties during Khan's early years, may not have included a significant sense of physical intimidation.

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