John Bowlby

1907 (London) – 1990 (Isle of Skye)

Bowlby developed influential ideas about children and separation. Klein supervised part of his training. The ethologists Hinde, Lorenz and Tinbergen all had lively and influential contact with him following Huxley’s encouragement. Winnicott’s and Bowlby’s professional lives ran in close parallel, though they were not close friends, Winnicott actually opposing Bowlby’s election to the British Analytical Society. Freud thought he was taking psychoanalysis in the wrong direction, but still respected him. Mead, Erikson, Bertalanffy, Grey Walter, Piaget and Inhelder all shared WHO connections, while Jones had consulting rooms in Bowlby’s house.

John Bowlby knew…

Donald Winnicott

D. W. Winnicott

1896 (Plymouth, England) – 1971 (London)

Winnicott’s ideas in child psychology remain influential. Jones, a cordial friend, gave him a list of analysts for his own personal problems, though he couldn’t choose. Klein supervised part of his training; he analysed her son, but refused to become a disciple. He remained neutral in the struggle between Klein and Freud, undertook a famous dialogue with Freud, and strengthened his personal and professional ties with her. Bowlby and Bion were colleagues, Luria, Graves, Szasz and Lowenfeld correspondents. Despite polar differences, he was friendly with Lacan, whose daughter accidentally broke a bottle of wine at dinner.

Donald Winnicott knew…

Frantz Fanon

1925 (Fort-de-France, Martinique) – 1961 (Bethesda, Md.)

Césaire taught him at school, became his mentor and a powerful influence on his life. Glissant, also from Martinique, was befriended as a student — he described Fanon as extremely sensitive. Sartre and de Beauvoir were friends of Fanon’s; Sartre wrote the preface for ‘The Wretched of the Earth’, while Fanon told de Beauvoir that an Algerian comrade’s death haunted his conscience. He greatly admired Wright, wrote to him, annd met him at the first conference in France on black art and literature. Lanzmann, who met Fanon in North Africa, planned a book about him after his death that came to naught.

Richard Huelsenbeck

1892 (Frankenau, Germany) – 1974 (Muralto, Switzerland)

Huelsenbeck had been friendly with Ball before both moved to Zürich, and was the original link between the Zürich and Berlin Dadaists. He and Janco recited simultaneist verse at Cabaret Voltaire, where Arp and Hennings were co-conspirators. Richter described Tzara as Huelsenbeck’s anti-friend. Hausmann (who feuded with him for 40 years), Baader, Grosz, Heartfield and Herzfelde were the Berlin Dada shock-troops Huelsenbeck joined up with. In the U.S., he was in touch with Janco, Duchamp and Richter, met Calder and Tanguy, and introduced his house-guest Tinguely to Johns, Chamberlain, and Rauschenberg.

R. D. Laing

Ronald David Laing

1927 (Glasgow) – 1989 (St Tropez)

As a psychiatrist associated with the anti-psychiatry movement, Laing remains controversial. Winnicott and Bowlby were senior colleagues at the Tavistock Clinic in London; Winnicott was his supervisor, and responded warmly to Laing’s ‘The Divided Self’. Trocchi, a fellow-Glaswegian and counter-cultural icon, counted Laing among his associates; Laing gave Leary his first shot of heroin in Trocchi’s house. He met Bateson, another important collaborator who also acquired counter-cultural status, in the U.S.

Jacques Lacan

1901 (Paris) – 1981 (Paris)

Lacan’s philosophical influence was immense. He was Picasso’s personal doctor, also friendly with Bataille, Merleau-Ponty, Breton, Sollers and Dalí. He visited Bion, who influenced him, on a study-visit to England. Lévi-Strauss, Althusser, Hyppolite and Foucault all participated in his famous seminars; Irigaray and Miller (who married his daughter) also took part. Althusser had a complex relationship with him; sometimes friends, sometimes foes. Lévi-Strauss introduced him to Jakobson, who became a good friend and regularly stayed with him while in Paris. Moreau met him at Duras’, and said he started sending her “terrible orchids” which she hid in a cupboard.