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"Lucian Blaga" University

n Romanian culture, Lucian Blaga stands out as the greatest creative personality of the 20 th century. His work as a poet, philosopher, essayist, playwright and translator of poetry – is a synthesis of great originality. He represents a profound ethical inspiration nourished by an amazing openness towards the various aspects of the human mind: philosophy and science, history and religion and, above all, the complex and controversial field of art.

Lucian Blaga was born in the village of Lancrăm (Alba County) in the centre of Transylvania. He was educated at Sibiu and Braşov and studied theology in Vienna. After a period of almost seven years as diplomat in Berne and Lisbon, he was appointed professor at the University of Cluj, where a special chair of Philosophy of Culture was founded for him in acknowledgment of his activity as an intellectual. His philosophical thinking was set forth in four trilogies: The Trilogy of Knowledge, The Trilogy of Culture, The Trilogy of Values and The Cosmological Trilogy. In his metaphysical system, emphasis is laid on the ontological and cosmological problem, as well as on the gnoseological pursuit.

The vision of the philosopher was shared by the poet, whose lyrical works evince the influence of German expressionism. Blaga’s expressionism has a distinct Romanian flavour that is revealed by the investigation of traditional latencies. His lyrical works, collected in volumes such as Poems of Light, The Prophet’s Steps, In the Great Transition, Praise of Sleep, display a concern with the morphology of the miracle.

The same concern with miracle is noticeable in his dramatic works, which are regarded as a theatre of ideas. His plays deal with history and nationalism, with religious and mythical subjects which blend with Romanian folk beliefs. His best-known play – “The Master Builder Manole” – tackles a fundamental Romanian myth, that of the sacrifice necessary for creation.

But if our folk genius appealed to Blaga, world genius also fascinated him. His translations from great poets of the world, including Goethe’s masterpiece – “Faust”, bear testimony to his versatility as a writer.

Blaga died in 1961 (aged 66), at a time when his creative power was still far from being exhausted. His premature death was the unavoidable denouement of the long years of persecution by the Communist regime, which turned Blaga into a social outcast.

One may get an idea of what Blaga had to grapple with when learning that in the 1950’s, when he became a Nobel Prize nominee, the Romanian authorities of the time denied him even the right to answer the announcement made by the Swedish Royal Academy. But if he was denied the right to the Nobel award, nobody can deny him an enduring legacy.

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