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Philosopher and essayist Mihai Sora received the European Citizen's 2018 Award


The philosopher and essayist Mihai Sora said on Tuesday at the European Parliament, where he officially received the European Citizen's 2018 Award, that he had always known "that the generous and the genius side of Europe will be right." 

Mihai Sora's speech, in French, was read by his wife, Luiza. 

"I saw Europe shattered, I saw Europe silent in front of barbarity, powerless, tired, heroic or bent. I saw Europe starting to dance to a strange music: fanatical dictators and sick populists, but I always knew, with some sort of serene and unshakable confidence, that the generous and genius side of Europe will be right in the face of the beastly and ferocious side, that the intelligent Europe - the one of ancient times, of the time of old Socrates - is looking for ?the why' of things. This Europe will always find the means to go seek the answers," transmitted Mihai Sora, who on November 7 will be 102 years old. 

He then referred to the condition of the Romanian intellectual during the dictatorship. 

"There were times, in Romania, in the darkest years of the dictatorship, when many intellectuals were taken out of the citadel, they were living in isolation or were thrown into prisons. What saved us then, in those gloomy times, were neither the weapons or the chancelleries, but exactly the European spirit: 'The Iliad and the Odyssey', 'Don Quixote' and 'Phaedra', 'In Search of Lost Time', 'The Magic Mountain', 'Hamlet' and 'Divine Comedy' , 'A Season in Hell,' 'Zeno's Conscience, 'The Memoirs of Hadrian, ' 'Faustus,' 'War and Peace," confessed Mihai Sora. 

According to the philosopher, "all the burning sap of these books, as well as of others, the fortifying blow of Europe could penetrate, despite dictatorship, censorship, fear, hunger and cold, between the covers of a collection named: 'The Library for All' ". 

Mihai Sora was nominated for the 2018 European Citizen's Award by the European MEPs Monica Macovei and Cristian Preda.