In Romanian culture, Lucian Blaga represents the greatest creative personality of the 20th century. His work – poet, philosopher, essayist, playwright and poetry translator – is a personal synthesis of great originality, of deep ethnic inspiration, fueled by an amazing opening to the most varied aspects of the human spirit: philosophy and science, history and religion , and in particular the complex and controversial arts field.
Lucian Blaga (1895-1961) was born in the village of Lancram (White County) in the center of Transylvania; studied at Sibiu and Brasov and he studied theology in Vienna. After nearly seven years of diplomacy in Berne and Lisbon, he became a professor at the University of Cluj-Napoca, where he chose the Department of Philosophy of Culture, the main field of his intellectual activity. Four trilogies shape his philosophical thinking: the Trilogy of Knowledge, the Trilogy of Culture, the Trilogy of Values and the Cosmological Trilogy. In its metaphysical system, the emphasis is on both the ontological and cosmological problem and on the gnoseological search.
The philosopher’s vision was shared by the poet, whose lyrical work demonstrates the influence of German expressionism. Blaga’s expressionism has a distinctly Romanian color: it is an investigation of traditional native latencies. His lyrical work, published in volumes such as “Poems of Light”, “The Prophets Steps,” “In the Great Pass,” “Praise of Sleep” manifests a concern for the morphology of the miracle.
The same concern for the miracle is felt in his plays, which can be regarded as a theater of poetic ideas. His plays deal with themes such as history and nationalism, religious and mythical subjects on the backdrop of Romanian folk heresies. The “Manole Master”, his most famous piece, deals with the issue of heroism and the sacrifice necessary for creation.
But if Blaga showed great interest in our popular genius, the universal genius fascinated him. Poetry translated from great poets of the world, including Goethe’s masterpiece, Faust, proves his poetic talent and the elasticity of his thinking.
Blaga died in 1961 (at the age of 66), at a time when the poet had not even exhausted his creative resources. His premature death was the inevitable outcome of the long years of persecution by the communist regime that turned Blaga into a social pariah.
Blaga’s encounters in life will be better understood if we think that in the 1950s, when Blaga was nominated for the Nobel Prize, the Romanian authorities of the time did not allow him to respond to the announcement made by the Royal Academy of Sweden . But if the time authorities canceled their right to the Nobel Prize, no one can influence the destiny of the work Blaga left to his descendants.