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Odysseus Elytis

Awards: Nobel Prize in Literature-1979

Nobel Committee in its citation stated that the prize was given for "his poetry, which against the background of Greek tradition, depicts with sensuous strength and intellectual clearsightedness modern man's struggle for freedom and creativeness. "

Born: 02/11/1911 in Heraklion, Greece (then in the Republic of Crete).

Died:  18/03/1996 in Athens, Greece

Citizen: Greek

Language: Greek

Elytis spent his childhood in Athens. After completing school education, he joined Law School of University of Athens. Law never appealed to him and he left the course halfway.

      In 1935, being motivated by the lectures of Andreas Embricos, Elytis dabbled with painting and writing. He made fantastic collages and exhibited some of these in International Surrealist exhibition in Athens in 1935. During this period, his first poem collection, First Poems. was published followed by Orientations, Hourglass of the Unknown.

  During Nazi occupation of Greece, Elytis joined anti-fascist forces in Albania. But after the War, he maintained a stoic silence till he wrote Axion Esti in 1959. He stayed in Paris during 1948-52, 1969-72 and was active in the literary circles.

    Elytis was primarily a poet and his works were largely unknown outside Greece till he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

 Notable Works:                                               Προσανατολισμοί -- Orientations(1936/1937),Ηλιος ο πρώτος, παραλλαγές πάνω σε μιαν αχτίδα -- Sun The First Together With Variations on A Sunbeam (1943),Το Άξιον Εστί - To Axion Esti—It Is Worthy (1959) , Σηματολόγιον -- Signalbook(/1977),Ο Μικρός Ναυτίλος-- The Little Mariner(1988), Δυτικά της λύπης-- West of Sadness(/1995),-- Eros, Eros, Eros: Selected and Last Poems(/1998),

Odysseus Elytis

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