以意逆志 – Chinese philosophy and culture

yǐ yì nì zhì 以意逆志

Interpreting a Writing from One’s Own Perspective

依据自己的理解去解读文学作品中的意思。这说的是正确阅读文学作品的方法,由战国时期思想家孟子(前372?-前289)提出。孟子这个观点是针对如何正确理解《诗经》作品而发,后来被广泛引申为对诗歌乃至其他一切文学作品的阐释方法。这一观点主张,读者在阅读文学作品时,要结合自己的生活经验和思考,去领会、推测作者在作品中所寄寓的情感,从而理解作品的内容和主旨。这一观念发展为中国古代文学批评中的鉴赏理论。

This term describes an appropriate approach to reading literary works by understanding the work from one’s own perspective. It was put forth by Mencius (372? -289 BC), a thinker in the Warring States Period, when he talked about how to correctly understand The Book of Songs. Since then, this concept, extended to become hermeneutic, has been applied broadly to poetry and all other literary works. This point of view emphasizes that readers should activate their own personal experiences and reflective thinking when reading literary works so as to grasp or infer the sentiments that authors try to convey through their work, thus becoming able to understand its content and main themes. This viewpoint has evolved into a theory for artistic appreciation in ancient Chinese literary criticism.

引例 Citation:

◎故说诗者,不以文害辞,不以辞害志。以意逆志,是为得之。(《孟子·万章上》)

(解说诗的人,不拘泥于文字而误解词句,不拘泥于个别词句而误解作品的完整意思。能以自己的切身体会去推测作者的本意,这才是懂得读诗的正确方法。)

When reading a poem, one should not be confined by its words as to misread the lines, nor should one be confined by the lines as to misread its main meaning. Only by using one’s own experiences in getting to know the intention of the poet can one appropriately appreciate the poem. (Mencius)

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