Marcondes, Durval Bellegarde (1899-1981)

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Durval Bellegarde Marcondes was born in São Paulo on November 27, 1899, and died there on September 27, 1981. He was one of the leading promoters of psychoanalysis in Brazil.

In 1919, while still a medical student in São Paulo, he learned of the existence of Freud's work through the efforts of his professor, Franco da Rocha. In 1925, having completed his medical training, he opened consultation rooms where he received patients suffering from neuroses and treated them using the psychoanalytic technique. Moreover, he was the only early practitioner of psychoanalysis in Brazil to later submit to orthodox training and to practice throughout his life, thus becoming a "pioneer," according to Marialzir Perestrello's classification in Primeiros Encontros com a Psicanálise no Brasil (1899-1937).

In 1927 Marcondes conceived of and founded the first Sociedade Brasileira de Psicanálise (Brazilian psychoanalytic society). The stated goal of this institution was "to bring together people who are interested in studying Freudian theory and spreading these ideas." Juliano Moreira also founded an affiliate psychoanalytic society in Rio de Janeiro. The Revista brasileira de psicanálise (Brazilian review of psychoanalysis) was launched in 1928. A copy of the first issue was sent to Freud, who responded to Marcondes with this letter on June 27, 1928: "Dear Colleague. The content of the new Revista brasileira de psicanálise gave me great pleasure. May it have a fruitful future! As a result of this dispatch, I bought a small Portuguese grammar book and a German-Portuguese dictionary. I am curious to see whether I can manage to read the review for myself during these holidays. Greetings and many thanks, yours Freud." In another letter to Marcondes in 1928, Freud asked the members of the newly founded society to request to be affiliated to the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA). Volumes 10 (p. 515, 1929) and 12 (p. 510, 1931) of the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis record that the group did respond to Freud's suggestion, with an informal request that was favorably received by Max Eitingon, then president of the IPA.

In 1930 Marcondes received a publication from Eitingon, celebrating the tenth birthday of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute (BPI). The publication contained a description of the system of psychoanalytic training developed and perfected by the institute, based on training analysis, supervisions, and theoretical/technical studies. Marcondes was immediately convinced of the necessity of establishing the same training system in Brazil and the need to invite a training analyst to help. René Spitz was the first choice but the political situation prevented the project from coming to fruition: the constitutionalist uprising of 1932 brought São Paulo into military opposition with the rest of country and caused the federal government to impose a blockade on communications in the state of São Paulo. Another occasion to invite an IPA-approved psychoanalyst did not present itself until November, 1936, when Dr. Adelheid Koch arrived in São Paulo. Marcondes was among the first six people to be analyzed by the Berlin analyst.

Marcondes played an active part in the life of psychoanalytic institutions. He was president of the São Paulo branch of the Sociedade Brasileira de Psicanálise, a mandate he received twice. He helped found the Associação Brasileira de Psicanálise in May 1967 and became its first president.

In 1938 he created the mental hygiene section of the school health service in São Paulo and became its first director. In it he developed a program of infantile mental hygiene on psychoanalytic bases, thus creating a hitherto unknown occupational category in Brazil: mental health workers and psychiatric advisors that visited homes, the precursors of psychologists. Some of these mental health professionals went on to become psychoanalysts. Marcondes made the profession accessible to non-physicians, this being a distinctive feature of the São Paulo section of the Sociedade Brasileira de Psicanálise. Marcondes taught in the School of Political Sociology, in the Public Health Faculty, in the Psychology Institute, in the University of São Paulo, and in the Catholic Pontifical University of SãoPaulo.

He wrote many articles on psychoanalysis and art criticism, and in 1951 he published a book, A Medicina e a Psicologia (Medicine and psychology).

Fabio Hermann and Robert Yutaka Sagawa

See also: Brazil.


Bicudo, Virginia L. (1948). Contribuição para a história do desenvolvimento da psicanálise em São Paulo. Arquivos de neuropsiquiatria, 6,1.

Galvão, Luis Almeida Prado. (1967). Notas para a história de psicanálise em São Paulo. Revista brasileira de psicaná-lise, 1 (1), 46-68.

Marcondes, Durval. (1951). A Medicina e a Psicologia. São Paulo: Martins.

Perestrello, Marialzira. (1985). Primeiros encontros com a psicanálise, 1899-1937; Os precursores do movimento psicanalítico no Brasil, 1899-1937. Jornal brasileiro de psicanálise, 35 (4), 195-208.

. (1992). Histoire de la psychanalyse au Brésil des originesà 1937. Frénésie, 2 (10), 283-304.

. (1992). A Psicanálise no Brasil. Encontros: psicaná-lise. Rio de Janeiro: Imago.

Sagawa, Roberto Yutaka. (1996). A Construção local da psicanálise. Marília: Interior-Psicanálise.

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Marcondes, Durval Bellegarde (1899-1981)

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