Trestia ganditoare: In Memoriam Neagu Djuvara

26/01/2018

L’homme n’est qu’un roseau, le plus faible de la nature; mais c’est un roseau pensant. (Blaise Pascal)

Omul este doar o trestie, cea mai fragilă din natură; dar este o trestie gânditoare. (Blaise Pascal)

 

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Catholics on the Barricades

12/11/2017

Gaudium in veritate: It is my pleasure to recommend in superlative terms this book by my friend and U-MD colleague, Piotr Kosicki. Superbly written and truly illuminating, this is comparative intellectual history at its very best! Congrats, Piotr, see you on Thursday and Friday at our conference on “One Hundred Years of Communist Experiments.” Thanks for the great inscription!

 

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https://yalebooks.yale.edu/…/978030022…/catholics-barricades


Basta with Lenin!

25/10/2017

In order to calm the crowd outside, the portrait of Lenin is rapidly being removed from the council room of the city hall by a freedom fighter. Gyor, Hungary. October-November, 1956. © Erich Lessing | Magnum Photos

 

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Insurrection!

25/10/2017
These images made Mátyás Rákosi’s peers, the other little Stalins, all those butchers of their nations named Gheorghiu-Dej, Novotny, Hoxha, Ulbricht, Zhivkov, but also Khrushchev and Mao, tremble. Neither were Gomulka and Tito happy with the spontaneous outburst of mass revolt against tyranny. Leninists have always resented and abhorred stikhiinost. Moreoever, for all of them the crucial role played by students and intellectuals in the revolution was intolerable. According to historian Lars Lih, the Russian term stikhiinost contains the meaning of the English “spontaneity” combined with a sense of an elemental force…

Image: October-November 1956. Budapest. On Vaci Road was the Soviet Cultural shop, members of the insurrection looted it and destroyed the propaganda material. Photo by Erich Lessing (Magnum)

 

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La Multi Ani, Andrei Pleșu!

23/08/2017

He embodies brilliantly three gifts: the gift of friendship, the gift of love, and the gift of wisdom. Happy Birthday to Andrei Pleșu, a noble citizen of the European Republic of Letters!

Image: Launching my book “Fantasies of Salvation” at the Embassy of Romania, Washington, DC, November 1998.

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Gdańsk and the dignity of Europe

09/05/2017

City of liberty, Gdańsk, March 2017: In memory of the great European philosopher Jan Patočka, for whom responsibility was a duty and a virtue. Born in 1907, this student of Edmund Husserl became a spokesman for Charter 77. He died forty

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Le jour de gloire…

07/05/2017

And when man faces destiny, destiny ends and man comes into his own. (André Malraux)

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