December 20, 2010

A century with Neagu Djuvara

 Saturday, December 18th was launched in Bucharest " A century with Neagu Djuvara / Un secol cu Neagu Djuvara" - a collection of reference sequences from Neagu Djuvara's life, narrated by George Radulescu.

With this occasion George Radulescu said:  " I discovered Mr. Professor Neagu Djuvara in my readings and I wanted to make publicly known his words, my book being a call to normality / L-am descoperit pe domnul profesor în lecturile mele şi am vrut să fac cunoscute vorbele sale publicului, cartea mea fiind un apel la normalitate."   This post has also same goal: to make his work better known by people around the world.

Neagu Djuvara
Neagu Djuvara - photo courtesy of adevarul.ro

 Neagu Djuvara, born in 1916 as the last descendant of the Gradişteanu family (Wallachian boyar's family), is a Romanian historian, essayist, philosopher, journalist, novelist, and diplomat.
Amintiri din pribegie (1948-1990)He graduated Law at the University of Paris (the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales) and was involved in Romanian history being a diplomatist in the "Mihai Antonescu" Royal Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  During the communist regime in Romania, he decided to follow his way in exil for 42 years, " Bucarest-Paris-Niamey et retour ou Souvenirs de 42 ans d'exil (1948–1990) / Bucharest-Paris-Niamey and Back or Recollections from 42 Years of Exile"  or "Recollections from Exile / Amintiri din Pribegie ".
Foreign Relations of Niger: Neagu Djuvara, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration In that period  he has been for 23 years ( 1961 to 1984) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration to the Government of the Republic of Niger.

He wrote several books in French and Romanian about History, Philosophy of History and memoirs, most of them being published after his returning in 1990 in Romania:

  • "Between East and West. The Romanian Lands at the Beginning of the Modern Era / Între Orient şi Occident. Ţările române la începutul epocii moderne" ;
  • "Le pays roumain entre Orient et Occident. Les Principautés danubiennes au début du XXe siècle / The Romanian Land between Orient and Occident. The Danubian Principalities at the Beginning of the 20th Century / Intre Orient si Occident. Tarile Romane la inceputul epocii moderne"
  • "How Was the Romanian People Born? Cum s-a născut poporul român?"
  • "Is There a Truthful History? Există istorie adevarată?"
  • "From Vlad the Impaler to Dracula the Vampire /  De la Vlad Ţepeş la Dracula Vampirul"

He is renewed for his theory " the cyclic pattern of civilizations" which says that human civilizations follow a certain pattern (a theory developed by Splengler and continued by N. Djuvara , which was validated by the collapse of USSR in 1991 and seems to be in the validation phase by the current global crisis). He studied the History of many civilizations: Egyptian, Cretan, Babylonian, Indian, Chinese, Greco-Roman, Islamic, Byzantine, Inca,  Aztec and he considered that any civilization's  life expectancy is around 2500 years, and follow four phases in its duration: heroic age, flourish age, sustaining states age and imperial age. He became Laureate of the Academie Francaise with his book written in 1975: Civilisations et lois historiques. Essai d’étude comparée des civilisations /  Civilizations and Historical Patterns. Essay of Comparative Studies on Civilizations /  which was awarded  in 1976 with "History Prize of the French Academy".

Reading his books (available in Romanian, French and English ) is a great pleasure and many of us may find interesting theories/answers for our concerns about how evolves modern society and the global crissis.

"I'm very worried about the future of United Europe/  Sunt foarte îngrijorat de viitorul Europei unite " Neagu Djuvara

Perhaps anything happen in life by chance, as he says:
" Everything in my life happened by chance/ Totul în viaţa mea a fost întâmplător" Neagu Juvara

So, I'm happy for my chance to discover Mr Djuvara's historical writings. 

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