Embirikos, Andreas (1901-1975)

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Andreas Embirikos, a poet and psychoanalyst, was born on September 2, 1901, in Braïla, Romania, and died in 1975 in Athens. His father's family was originally from the island of Andros. His mother was born in Russia. He had three brothers. Shortly after his birth, the family settled on the island of Syros, then in Athens, where Embirikos completed his secondary education and enrolled at the University of Athens to study philosophy.

Between 1926 and 1931 he lived in Paris. Interested in psychoanalysis, he underwent analysis with René Laforgue and made contact with the surrealists. He became friends with André Breton. After his return to Athens in 1931, he worked for a while as director in the shipping company that belonged to his father, but he soon left his position to devote his life to poetry and psychoanalysis.

Embirikos, the first psychoanalyst in Greece, was actively involved in psychoanalysis from 1935 until the end of 1950. In 1947 he was one of the founding members of the first psychoanalytic group in Greece and in 1950 was made a member of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society.

His friends referred to Embirikos as "brilliant and unlike anyone else." One might assume that he combined the glory of the poet with the perseverance of the psychoanalyst, but this was not the case. In 1951, believing he was under the threat of a lawsuit for practicing therapy without a medical license, Embirikos closed his psychoanalytic practice. He had been badly treated by the police at the end of the civil war and now believed he had become a target of the medical establishment. He left for Paris.

Two years later Embirikos returned to Greece to devote himself to his poetry. He was a prolific poet and produced work of high quality. His poetry was a broad erotic fresco with occasional references to psychoanalysis. His only psychoanalytic publication appeared in 1950: "Un cas de névrose obsessionnelle avecéjaculations précoces." Embirikos married twice. He died at the age of seventy-four from lung cancer.

Anna Potamianou

See also: Greece.


Embirikos, Andréas. (1950). Un cas de névrose obsessionnelle avecéjaculations précoces. Revue française de psychanalyse.

Kourias, Eri, and Kourias, Georges. (1984). Un cas de pratique psychanalytique reliéà une errance hyperréaliste: La psychanalyse et la Grèce. Athens: Société d'études de la culture néohellénique et de l'éducation.

Revue Hartis. (1985). A series of articles dedicated to Andréas Embirikos. 17-18.

Tzavaras, Athanase. (1981). Andréas Embirikos et la psychanalyse. Bulletin de la Société d'études de la culture néohellénique et de l'éducation, 5.

Zavitzianos, Georges. (1981). Andréas Embirikos, psychoanalyst. Le mot, 20.