Lucian Blaga's Hronicul si Cantecul Varstelor: A Literary Commentary
Lucian Blaga (1895-1961) was one of the most influential Romanian poets, philosophers and cultural figures of the 20th century. His work encompasses poetry, drama, essays, memoirs and philosophical treatises. Among his most acclaimed works is Hronicul si Cantecul Varstelor (The Chronicle and Song of Ages), a memoir published in 1946 that depicts his childhood and adolescence in the rural and archaic world of Transylvania.
Hronicul si Cantecul Varstelor is a literary commentary on Blaga's own life, as well as a reflection on the universal themes of existence, identity, knowledge and creativity. The book is divided into 12 chapters, each corresponding to a stage of Blaga's development from birth to maturity. The chapters are also organized according to the seasons of the year, creating a cyclical structure that mirrors the natural and cosmic order.
The Chronicle and Song of Ages: A Summary
The first chapter, "The Beginning", introduces Blaga's birth in Lancram, a village near Sebes, in 1895. He describes his family background, his parents' personalities and occupations, and his first impressions of the world. He also reveals his peculiar condition of being a mute child until the age of four, when he finally uttered his first words under the pressure of his mother and doctor.
The second chapter, "The First Spring", depicts Blaga's awakening to language and communication, as well as his discovery of nature and its mysteries. He recalls his fascination with flowers, animals, stars and legends, as well as his encounters with various characters from the village, such as the priest, the teacher, the gypsy woman and the blind man.
The third chapter, "The First Summer", focuses on Blaga's relationship with his father, Isidor Blaga, a teacher and a poet who influenced his son's intellectual and artistic development. He describes his father's library, his poems and his lectures on history and geography. He also recounts his father's involvement in the Romanian national movement and his participation in the First World War.
The fourth chapter, "The First Autumn", explores Blaga's religious feelings and questions, as well as his initiation into the world of books and stories. He narrates his experiences with the church, the Bible, the saints and the rituals. He also mentions his readings of fairy tales, legends, myths and historical novels.
The fifth chapter, "The First Winter", portrays Blaga's school life in Sebes-Alba, where he moved with his family in 1905. He depicts his classmates, his teachers, his subjects and his achievements. He also reflects on his growing awareness of social differences and conflicts.
The sixth chapter, "The Second Spring", illustrates Blaga's first love affair with a girl named Maria Banușiu. He describes their meetings, their conversations, their letters and their kisses. He also expresses his feelings of joy, confusion and pain.
The seventh chapter, "The Second Summer", shows Blaga's interest in philosophy and science. He recounts his studies of logic, mathematics, physics and astronomy. He also reveals his admiration for Kant, Nietzsche and Einstein.
The eighth chapter,
The eighth chapter, "The Second Autumn", depicts Blaga's involvement in the cultural and political life of Sebes-Alba. He relates his participation in various literary and artistic circles, such as the "Societatea de lectură și cântare" (The Society of Reading and Singing) and the "Junimea literară" (The Literary Youth). He also reports his encounters with prominent figures of the Romanian culture, such as Octavian Goga, George Coșbuc and Nicolae Iorga.
The ninth chapter, "The Second Winter", narrates Blaga's departure from Sebes-Alba to Brasov, where he enrolled in the "Andrei Șaguna" High School in 1911. He describes his adaptation to the new environment, his new friends and teachers, and his academic performance. He also mentions his travels to Sibiu, Bucharest and Vienna.
The tenth chapter, "The Third Spring", reveals Blaga's passion for poetry and music. He recounts his attempts to write poems in various styles and languages, his admiration for Eminescu, Verlaine and Rilke, and his experiments with musical instruments. He also confesses his love for a girl named Otilia Hodișan.
The eleventh chapter, "The Third Summer", illustrates Blaga's graduation from high school and his decision to study philosophy at the University of Vienna. He recalls his farewell from his family, his friends and his homeland. He also expresses his hopes and fears for the future.
The twelfth chapter, "The Third Autumn", concludes Blaga's memoir with a reflection on the meaning and value of his life. He compares his existence to a chronicle and a song, a record of facts and a expression of feelings. He also acknowledges his debt to his parents, his teachers and his country.
The Chronicle and Song of Ages: A Literary Analysis
Hronicul si Cantecul Varstelor is not only a memoir, but also a literary work that showcases Blaga's artistic talent and vision. The book is written in a lyrical and poetic prose, full of metaphors, symbols and images. Blaga uses various literary devices, such as contrast, repetition, parallelism and irony, to create a rich and expressive style. He also employs different narrative techniques, such as flashback, foreshadowing, dialogue and description, to structure and enliven his story.
One of the main themes of the book is the relationship between the individual and the collective, between the self and the other. Blaga explores his own identity in relation to his family, his community, his nation and his culture. He also examines the influences that shaped his personality and his worldview, such as his parents, his teachers, his friends, his books and his experiences. He shows how he assimilated or rejected various values and ideas, how he developed his own opinions and beliefs, and how he expressed his creativity and originality.
Another important theme of the book is the quest for knowledge and understanding. Blaga portrays himself as a curious and inquisitive child, who constantly asks questions and seeks answers. He depicts his intellectual journey from the naive and intuitive knowledge of childhood to the rational and scientific knowledge of adulthood. He also reveals his interest in philosophy and metaphysics, as well as his search for the ultimate truth and meaning of life.
A third major theme of the book is the role of imagination and art in human existence. Blaga demonstrates his artistic sensibility and talent throughout the book, by describing his impressions of nature, his feelings of wonder and awe, his appreciation of beauty and harmony. He also reveals his passion for poetry and music, as well as his aspiration to become a poet himself. He argues that imagination and art are essential for human development and fulfillment, as they enable us to transcend the limits of reality and to express our innermost emotions.
The Chronicle and Song of Ages: A Literary Evaluation
Hronicul si Cantecul Varstelor is a remarkable literary work that offers a unique insight into Blaga's life and thought. The book is not only a valuable source of information about the historical and cultural context of Romania in the late 19th and early 20th century, but also a testimony of Blaga's personal and artistic evolution. The book is also a masterpiece of style and expression, that showcases Blaga's poetic genius and philosophical depth.
The book has been widely praised and appreciated by critics and readers alike, who have recognized its artistic and intellectual merits. The book has been considered as one of the best examples of Romanian memoirs, as well as one of the most original and influential works of Romanian literature. The book has also been translated into several languages, such as English, French, German and Hungarian, and has received international acclaim.
The book has also inspired and influenced other writers and artists, who have found in Blaga's work a source of inspiration and admiration. Some of the most notable examples are Mircea Eliade, Emil Cioran, Eugen Ionescu, Marin Sorescu and Nicolae Breban. The book has also been adapted into various forms of art, such as theater, film, music and painting.
The Chronicle and Song of Ages: A Conclusion
In conclusion, Hronicul si Cantecul Varstelor is a literary work that deserves to be read and studied by anyone who is interested in Romanian culture and literature. The book is not only a memoir, but also a commentary, an analysis and an evaluation of Blaga's life and work. The book is also a reflection on the universal themes of existence, identity, knowledge and creativity. The book is also a demonstration of Blaga's artistic talent and vision. The book is also a tribute to Blaga's parents, teachers, friends and country.
The Chronicle and Song of Ages: A Conclusion
In conclusion, Hronicul si Cantecul Varstelor is a literary work that deserves to be read and studied by anyone who is interested in Romanian culture and literature. The book is not only a memoir, but also a commentary, an analysis and an evaluation of Blaga's life and work. The book is also a reflection on the universal themes of existence, identity, knowledge and creativity. The book is also a demonstration of Blaga's artistic talent and vision. The book is also a tribute to Blaga's parents, teachers, friends and country. 4aad9cdaf3