Born in Lancrăm, Transylvania into the family of a Romanian Orthodox priest, Lucian Blaga was educated in German with a philosophical focus, including the teachings of Lessing, Nietzsche and Bergson. After graduating from the seminary, Blaga attended the University of Vienna, studying philosophy and biology.
A year later, in 1919, he published his first collection of poetry, Poemele luminii(Poems of Light), and soon became one of the founders of the journal Gîndirea, which was to become one of the most innovative magazines in Romania before the War. Two years later he published another collection, Pasii profetului (In the Footsteps of the Prophet), followed by dramas and, in 1924, another collection of poetry, În marea trecere (In the Great Passage).
During this same period Blaga began his distinguished career as a journalist and diplomat, serving as press attaché in Vienna beginning in 1932 and later as ambassador to Portugal. In 1939 he returned to Romania to become professor of philosophy at the University of Cluj. During this period he became a member of the Romanian Academy and wrote important philosophical writings that would later make up the Trilogia culturii, which, along with Trilogia cunoaşterii and Trilogia valorilor, outlined in which he outlined methods for exploring what he described as "ultimate reality" and a new cultural theory in which he tied culture to the expression of a metaphysics. Late in the 1930s and early 1940s Blaga published his last two collections of poetry, including La curţile dorului (At the Court of Learning) and Neb ă nuitele trepte .
In 1956, his reputation as one of Romania's major poets and thinkers well established, Blaga was prevented from receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature by the Communist run Romanian government. Blaga continued publishing and translating the works of Goethe and Schelling until his death in 1961.
BOOKS OF POETRY:
Poemele luminii (1919); Pasii profetului (1921); În marea trecere (1924); Lauda somnului (1929); La cump ă na apelor (1933); La curţile dorului (1938); Neb ă nuitele trepte (1943); Opere [5 volumes] (1974-1977).
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS:
Poems of Light , translated by Roy MacGregor-Hastie, Don Eulert, Stefan Avadanei and Mikhail Borgdan (Bucharest: Minerva, 1975); Poezii/Poems, edited by Michael Taub and translated by Alfred Margul-Sperber (Bucharest: Minerva, 1981/Chapel Hill: Department of Romance Languages, University of North Carolina, 1983); At the Court of Yearning, translated and introduced by Andrei Codrescu (Columbus: Ohio State University Press/A Sandstone Book, 1989).