USV – Messages Sages and Ages

THE QUESTION OF THE IDEAL IN THE ARTS – Mariana Baloşescu / Porfirie Pescaru

To talk about the ideal is an action as daring as necessary in our world. Through the ideological-social discourse, legitimized and nourished by the discourse of sciences and philosophy, the current man is led towards a definitive alienation from his natural need for an ideal. The teachings about the inherited ideal are also quickly abandoned. On the other hand, art reflects realities and often anticipates them. In this essay study, we would like to show that a simple analytical overview, from a few sequences, on the backbone of the representation of the ideal in artistic thinking, seen in its historical consanguinity with philosophical and theological thinking, reveals to us an unsettling dynamic of the vision of the ideal. Modern philosophical consciousness, especially after Kant and then after Nietzsche, and the ideologies it generated change so much the original figure of the ideal that today it becomes unrecognizable. Man is led outside his own nature, but also outside the memory of the historical civilizations he built. The perception that the writer, the artist, but also the philosopher conveys, especially after 1850, is that of the loss of the ideal. Unsurprisingly, from this negative energy a whole culture of the crisis of modernity has been produced, which, without treating the causes of the crisis, amplifies the crisis, justifies it and gives it, especially in the 20th century, an expansion that today breaks western societies from the models claimed civilizations: the ChristianJudaic model and the Greco-Latin model. The center of this culture of crisis, assumed as a permanent state in the postmodern world, is the very crisis of the ideal and the crisis of the ideal. It summarizes the tectonic mutations that the inner being goes through in the world in which we live. The question that arises is natural: what comes next? Can we identify reactions that art, philosophy and theology offer in this state of crisis of consciousness? There are working hypotheses and there are clearly formulated solutions, which we can by no means evoke in detail here. What we aim to do is point to some more significant fragments from a very broad debate. And, finally, the analysis sends the reader to the spiritual and discursive presence of the solutions out of the crisis of the ideal, in the (apparently) anarchic combustion of our strictly current culture.

Mariana Baloşescu / Porfirie Pescaru


    Mariana Baloşescu is a researcher in the field of modern culture and classical literature. She teaches comparative literature and the analysis of mentalities at the Ştefan cel Mare University of Suceava (Romania). She published under the name Mariana Boca books and studies of aesthetic and cultural interpretation: Modernism between Literature and Philosophy (2002); European Mentalities (2006); Romanian Literature in the 20th century: the machine of the modernism and the histories of identity (2007); Memory and Precarity (2019); The memory of the texts and the canonical narrative (2019); Stories about the inner man (2020), etc.

    Porfirie Pescaru is a theologian specialized in the area of the patristic thought and in the Philokalia Greek texts. His research is dedicated to the biblical memory and to the interpretation of the Orthodox Christian spirituality and Byzantin culture. He is affiliated to the Justinian Patriarch Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the University of Bucharest. He works for the Archdiocese of Suceava and Rădăuţi (The Orthodox Curch of Romania).