1st Edition

Greek Folktales and Psychoanalysis A Dialogue

By Anna Angelopoulos Copyright 2025
    336 Pages
    by Routledge

    336 Pages
    by Routledge

    Greek Folktales and Psychoanalysis presents a dialogue between psychoanalysis and folktales from the Greek oral tradition, many of which have never before been published in English.   

    Each folktale or group of related tales is presented in full, followed by an analytic text which explores the central themes. The wealth of tales includes versions of oral stories which have been passed down through generations and which will provide professionals in the psychoanalytic field with a vast, unexpected panoply of strong images and metaphors on which to draw in their clinical work.  

    Greek Folktales and Psychoanalysis will be of great interest to psychoanalysts in practice and in training. It will also be relevant reading for academics and students of psychoanalytic literary criticism, folklore and oral tradition, Greek history and culture, mythology and anthropology.  

    1. The Folktale as Therapeutic Tool, Narrative, Creation and Healing  2. Feminine Rivalry Snow White and Cinderella Stories  3. Creating the Male Hero  4. Cupid and Psyche or The Search for the Lost Husband  5. The Realm of Mythical and Psychical Metamorphoses  6. From Myth to Folktale  7. The Representation of the Unthinkable  8. The Riddle Tale  9. Therapeutic Language in Folktales  10. Lying and Popular Fiction


    Anna Angelopoulos is a psychoanalyst and anthropologist based in Paris, France. She has and continues to oversee the Catalogue of Magic Greek Folktales, and she conducts a seminar entitled “Folktale and Psychoanalysis”, in collaboration with Sylvette Gendre-Dusuzeau. Angelopoulos is a member of the Fédération des Ateliers de Psychanalyse and was its President from 2010 to 2014.  


    'This book follows the road of oral folktales and their enigmas to take us back to the dawn of humanity. Dreams, stories, descriptions of analyses are interwoven to convey the substance of life, while enigmas introduce alternatives and metamorphoses. But interpreters in quest of meaning are needed to decipher these enigmas without fear, at the « crossrods in the labyrinth » where we might meet the minotaur, if we have lost Ariadne’s thread, offered us by the authors of the book. The metamorphoses we speak of sometimes spark jubilation and prompt a paradoxical insight into the encrypted truth of the patient, who until then had lost his way in his own life.'

    Patrick Chemla, Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, Bezannes, France

    'This remarkable work reminds us of the fundamental ties between folktales and psychoanalysis ; its chapters re-examine one by one the great concerns of human life : love, death, envy, rivalry, power and failure. The work draws on folktales derived from  famous myths, to help us understand the paradoxical and contradictory objectives of human beings, by placing human nature in an easy to understand psychopathological perspective. This is not just one more book of psychoanalytic theory applied to folktales, but an essential vade mecum inviting each of us to live, to love and to die accompanied by echoes of oral tales as ancient as human existence on earth. The book reinstates  dialogue in its role as a means of creating cohesion, pulling us back from the edge of a possible chasm of barbarity.'

    Pierre Delion, Child Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, Lille, France