Paul Ricoeur, “Memory, History, Forgetting,” Translated by Kathleen Blamey and David Pellauer, The University of Chiacgo Press, 2004, “Preface,” p. XVII): “… and finally, Emmanuel Macron to whom I am indebted for a pertinent critique of the writing and the elaboration of the critical apparatus of the work.” Elaboration of the critical apparatus! This is quite an acknowledgement! Paul Ricoeur was one of the most penetrating, most profound thinkers o…f our times. Such a recognition for Macron is for me a ,ajor, idelible recommendation for a critical intellectual. In the times of moral idiots and cultural barbarians like Trump, Putin, and Orban, I don’t need to justufy my support for Macron…
On October 26, 2006, Polish philosopher Leszek Kołakowski, one of the main intellectual inspirers of the independent, self-governed movement Solidarność, an emblematic citizen of the European Republic of Letters, received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Central European University in Budapest. I was invited to deliver the Laudatio. For personal reasons, I could not be there,… but the text exists, I hope. A crisis had occurred regarding the status of a close friend of mine, a Romanian historian who had served as the CEU academic vice-rector. He was supposed to introduce both Leszek Kołakowski and me, but, the day before the event, he resigned. My book “The Devil in History: Communism, Fascism, and Some Lessons of the Twentieth Century” came out from the University of California Press in 2012 (the paperback was published one year later). It is dedicated to the three scholars whose ideas have influenced me immensely: Tony Judt, Leszek Kolakowski, and Robert C. Tucker. The attack on CEU by the new Horthy and his minions is an onslaught on the values Kolakowski stood for–trust, truth, and tolerance. It is an aggression against the revolutionary tradition of the annus mirabilis 1989 and its legacies…
130 years ago, Friedrich Nietzsche on Europe’a fatefullly fractured future: “Thanks to the pathological alienation which the nationalistic idiocy has established and still establishes among European peoples, thanks as well to the short-sighted politicians with hasty hands who are on the top today with the help of this idiocy and have no sense of how the politics of disintegration which they carry on can necessarily only be politics of intermission, thanks to all this and to …some things today which are quite impossible to utter, now the most unambiguous signs that Europe wants to become a unity are being overlooked or wilfully and mendaciously reinterpreted.” (“Beyond Good and Evil,” 1886). This passage is one of the three epigraphs to the volume “Messages from a Lost World: Europe on the Brink,” by Stefan Zweig, Foreword by John Gray, Pushkin Press, 2016.
Great ideas come after twilight or, in Hegel’s words: “The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.” Edward Hopper (1882–1967), Conference at Night, 1949 (on the wall calendar in my office, Washington, DC, February 2016)
Pentru mine (si sunt convins că si pentru multi altii), anul 2016 este anul Mihai Șora. Am scris si voi continua să scriu despre acest admirabil ganditor, moralist, editor, eseist erudit si pasionat, maestru neintrecut a ceea ce Constantin Noica numea rostirea filosofică romanească.
Reiau acum un fragment din articolul sau “Despre ură, ură-de-sine, resentiment…” inclus in volumul “Anatomia resentimentului” pe care l-am coordonat la Curtea Veche Publishing. Ilustratia copertei, de maxima elocventă ideatică si grafică, este semnată de Devis Grebu: “Raportata la iuresul negativitătii care-i serveste urii drept suport, resentimentul este stătut. Stătut si retractil. Pasiv. Uneori, chiar intors asupră-si. In sensul ca, in loc de a-si anihila obiectul, isi (auto)devora subiectul. Aveu d’impuissance–, dar nu si asumare a neputintei: a-ti asuma (recunoscanduti-o) neputinta inseamnă deja a da dovada de curaj–de n-ar fi decat intelectual”.