Lucian Blaga

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Lucian Blaga
Born(1895-05-09)9 May 1895
Died6 May 1961(1961-05-06) (aged 65)
Resting placeLancrăm, Sebeș Municipality, Alba County, Romania
Alma materUniversity of Vienna (PhD)
Occupation(s)linguist, poet, translator, philosopher, writer, journalist, diplomat
Notable workPoems of light
Political partyNational Christian Party
SpouseCornelia Brediceanu
ChildrenDorli Blaga
AwardsHamagiu Award (1935)

Lucian Blaga (Romanian: [lutʃiˈan ˈblaɡa] ; 9 May 1895 – 6 May 1961) was a Romanian philosopher, poet, playwright, poetry translator and novelist. He was a commanding personality of the Romanian culture of the interbellum period.


Blaga was born in 1895 in Lancrăm (then Lámkerék), near Alba Iulia (then Gyulafehérvár), his father being an Orthodox priest. He later described his early childhood, in the autobiographical The Chronicle and the Song of Ages, as "under the sign of the incredible absence of the word".

His education started in Hungarian in the neighbouring Sebeș, where he remained until 1906, after which he attended the "Andrei Șaguna" highschool in Brașov between 1906 and 1914, under the supervision of a relative, Iosif (Blaga's father had died when he was 13). At the outbreak of the First World War, he began theological studies in Sibiu and graduating in 1917. He published his first philosophy article on the Bergson theory of subjective time. From 1917 to 1920, he attended courses at the University of Vienna, where he studied philosophy and obtained his PhD.

Upon returning to Transylvania, now a part of Romania, he contributed to the Romanian press, being the editor of the magazines 'Cultura' in Cluj and 'Banatul' in Lugoj.

In 1926, he entered Romanian diplomatic service, occupying posts at Romanian legations in Poland, Czechia, Portugal, Switzerland and Austria. Octavian Goga, a relative of his wife and fellow Transylvanian poet, was briefly a prime minister and so favoured Blaga for these positions. Elected a titular member of the Romanian Academy in 1936, with his acceptance speech Elogiul satului românesc (In Praise of the Romanian Village).

In 1939, he became a professor of cultural philosophy at the University of Cluj, temporarily relocated to Sibiu due to the Second Vienna Award. During his stay in Sibiu, since 1943 he became editor of the annual magazine Saeculum.

Dismissed from his university professorship in 1948 due to his refusal to show support for the new Communist regime he started working as a librarian at the Cluj branch of the History Institute of the Romanian Academy. Forbidden to publish any new books and he was forced to only translate until 1960. During this period he completed the translation of Goethe's Faust, one of the German writers that he claimed influenced him most.

While rumours existed that in 1956, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, there is no evidence for that.[1]

Died on 6 May 1961 after being diagnosed with cancer, he was buried according to custom three days later on what would have been his 66th birthday, in his native village cemetery of Lancrăm.

Blaga with his daughter

He was married to Cornelia (née Brediceanu).[2] They had a daughter, Dorli, her name being derived from dor, a noun that can be translated, roughly, as "longing".

The University of Sibiu bears his name today.


Blaga on a 2018 stamp sheet of Romania


  • 1919 – Poems of Light (Poemele luminii)
  • 1921 – The Prophet's Footsteps (Pașii profetului)
  • 1924 – In the Great Passage (În marea trecere)
  • 1929 – In Praise of Sleep (Laudă somnului)
  • 1933 – At the Watershed (La cumpăna apelor)
  • 1938 – At the Courtyard of Yearning (La curțile dorului)
  • 1942 - Iron age (Varsta de fier)
  • 1943 – Unsuspected Steps (Nebănuitele trepte)
  • 1982 – 3 Posthumous Poems


  • 1921 – Zalmoxis, a Pagan Mystery
  • 1923 – Whirling Waters
  • 1925 – Daria, The Deed, Resurrection
  • 1927 – Manole the Craftsman (Mesterul Manole)
  • 1930 – The Children's Crusade
  • 1934 – Avram Iancu
  • 1944 – Noah's Ark
  • 1964 – Anton Pann – published posthumously.


His philosophical work is grouped in four trilogies:

  • Filosofia cunoașterii (gnoseology) (1943)
  • Filosofia culturii (culture) (1944)
  • Filosofia valorilor (values) (1946)
  • Filosofia cosmologică (cosmology) (1983 posthumously)

The fourth work, Cosmologica, was completed but not published at the time because of communist regime censorship. Before death, Blaga left an editorial testament on how his works are to be published posthumously [3]

The novel Charon's Ferry is intended to be a companion to the philosophical trilogies. In it Blaga addresses some of the more problematic philosophical issues such as those pertaining to political, (para)psychological or occult phenomena, under the name of a fictive philosopher (Leonte Pătrașcu).[4]

Philosophical works[edit]

  • 1924 - "The Philosophy of Style"
  • 1925 - "The Original Phenomenon" and "The Facets of a Century"
  • 1931 - "The Dogmatic Aeon"
  • 1933 - "Luciferian Knowledge"
  • 1934 - "Transcendental Censorship"
  • 1936 – "Horizon and Style" and "The Mioritic Space"
  • 1937 – "The Genesis of Metaphor and the Meaning of Culture"
  • 1939 – "Art and Value"
  • 1940 – "The Divine Differentials"
  • 1942 – "Religion and Spirit" and "Science and Creation"
  • 1943 – The Trilogy of Knowledge (The Dogmatic Aeon, Luciferian Knowledge, Transcendent Censorship; in 1983, On Philosophical Cognition and Experiment and the Mathematical Spirit was added posthumously according to his will)
  • 1944 – The Trilogy of Culture (Horizon and Style, The Mioritic Space, The Genesis of Metaphor and the Meaning of Culture)
  • 1946 – The Trilogy of Values (Science and Creation, Magical Thinking and Religion, Art and Value)
  • 1959 – Historical Existence
  • 1966 – Romanian Thought in Transylvania in the 18th Century
  • 1968 – Horizons and Stages
  • 1969 – Experiment and the Mathematical Spirit
  • 1972 – Sources (essays, lectures, articles)
  • 1974 – On Philosophical Cognition
  • 1977 – Philosophical Essays
  • 1983 – The Cosmological Trilogy (The Divine Differentials, Anthropological Aspects, Historical Existence)

Other works[edit]

  • 1919 – Stones for My Temple, aphorisms
  • 1945 – Discoblus, aphorisms
  • 1965 – The Chronicle and Song of Ages, memoirs
  • 1977 – The Élan of the Island, aphorisms
  • 1990 – Charon's Ferry, novel

Presence in English language anthologies[edit]

  • Born in Utopia - An anthology of Modern and Contemporary Romanian Poetry - Carmen Firan and Paul Doru Mugur (editors) with Edward Foster - Talisman House Publishers - 2006 - ISBN 1-58498-050-8
  • Testament – Anthology of Modern Romanian Verse / Testament - Antologie de Poezie Română Modernă – Bilingual Edition English & RomanianDaniel Ioniță (editor and translator) with Eva Foster, Daniel Reynaud and Rochelle Bews – Minerva Publishing 2012 and 2015 (second edition) - ISBN 978-973-21-1006-5
  • Testament - Anthology of Romanian Verse - American Edition - monolingual English language edition - Daniel Ioniță (editor and principal translator) with Eva Foster, Daniel Reynaud and Rochelle Bews - Australian-Romanian Academy for Culture - 2017 - ISBN 978-0-9953502-0-5
  • Testament - 400 Years of Romanian Poetry - 400 de ani de poezie românească - bilingual edition - Daniel Ioniță (editor and principal translator) with Daniel Reynaud, Adriana Paul & Eva Foster - Editura Minerva, 2019 - ISBN 978-973-21-1070-6\
  • Romanian Poetry from its Origins to the Present - bilingual edition English/Romanian - Daniel Ioniță (editor and principal translator) with Daniel Reynaud, Adriana Paul and Eva Foster - Australian-Romanian Academy Publishing - 2020 - ISBN 978-0-9953502-8-1 ; LCCN - 2020907831


  1. ^ Mehlin, Hans (1 April 2020). "Nomination%20achive%20-%20Literature%201956". Retrieved 29 March 2024.
  2. ^ Cornelia Blaga-Brediceanu, diplomat la Parisa. (22 January 2010)
  3. ^ Blaga, Lucian (2013). Trilogia cunoasterii. Bucharest: Editura Humanitas. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-973-50-3575-4.
  4. ^ Blaga, Lucian (2013). Trilogia cunoasterii. Bucharest: Editura Humanitas. p. 8. ISBN 978-973-50-3575-4.


  • Gridan, Simona. “Aforismele lui Lucian Blaga - Relaţia cu proverbele româneşti”. The Central and Eastern European Online Library, no volume given, no. 2 (2019), pp. 44–48.
  • Todoran, Eugen (1985), Lucian Blaga, mitul dramatic, Timișoara: Facla.
  • Mihăilescu, Dan C. (1984), Dramaturgia lui Lucian Blaga, Cluj: Editura Dacia.
  • Pop, Ion (1981), Lucian Blaga – universul liric, Bucharest: Cartea Românească.
  • Gană, George (1976), Opera literară a lui Lucian Blaga, Bucharest: Editura Minerva.
  • Iţu, Mircia (1996), Indianismul lui Blaga, Braşov: Orientul latin ISBN 973-97590-1-7.
  • Bălu, Ion (1986), Lucian Blaga, Bucharest: Editura Albatros.
  • Micu, Dumitru (1967), Lirica lui Blaga, Bucharest: Editura pentru literatură.
  • Iţu, Mircia (2007), Marele Anonim şi cenzura transcendentă la Blaga. Brahman şi māyā la Śaṅkara, in Caiete critice 6–7 (236–237), Bucharest, pages 75–83 ISSN 1220-6350.
  • Todoran, Eugen (1981–1983), Lucian Blaga, mitul poetic, vol. I-II, Timișoara: Facla.
  • Micu, Dumitru (1970), Estetica lui Lucian Blaga, Bucharest: Editura Științifică.
  • Maciu, Andreea. MAN - OPENER OF MYSTERIES IN LUCIAN BLAGA'S POETRY. Globalization and Intercultural Dialogue: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Section: Literature, pp. 237–242. (Abstract in English)

External links[edit]