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April 2017
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LIBRI: The Values of Antiquity in Contemporary Literature and Arts

In the entitled article The Values of Antiquity in Contemporary Literature and Arts, Ph.D. and lecturer, Paula Onofrei is aiming to find the common grounds between the art of the Antiquity and the art of the modern era. The article refers to both visual art and literature and their ancient legacy that is still visible today.

There is no doubt that Antiquity was and still is a source of inspiration for the modern art. It is undeniable that without the ancient period, not only we would be unable to create a link between the modern art and the past, but there wouldn’t be any art at all.

An example of contemporary art by Damián Ortega
An example of contemporary art by Damián Ortega

Antiquity is perceived as the peak of human creation and perfection. Without Herodotus, there would be no history, without Aristotle there would be no literature, without Greek sculpture; we would still have cave drawings. Everything that the modern man possesses has roots in ancient times.

The article sets from the hypothesis that the ancient man and the modern one have very little differences between them. If we were to analyze separately one’s description and abilities there would be very little grounds on which to compare them. They both try to set the world they live in on the path of the finest and most fundamental values.

The techniques used in the modern art are similar to the way of creation of the art in ancient times. For example, we all know that the characters were reproduced in a frontal and a geometrical manner in the artistic creations from the Ancient Egipt. If we were to compare those creations with Picasso’s or Braque’s paintings, the similarities would be obvious.

In literature, ancient influence is even more obvious. What Plato designed as the perfect way of organizing the social environment in De Republica was used as a concept by the totalitarian regimes in the modern era. From a literary point of view, the article states his case by referring to Evgeni Vodolazkin’s novel, Laur. The novel is cited because it is a proof for the fact that modern man is still searching for the highest human values.

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Ştefana Bostan