六义 – Chinese philosophy and culture

liùyì 六义

The Six Basic Elements

汉代学者从治理国家与社会教化角度总结《诗经》所具有的六方面意义:风是用来阐发圣贤思想对民风的教化作用;赋是直陈时政善恶;比是以类比方式委婉批评时政的不足;兴是借助其他美好事物来鼓励善行;雅是宣扬正道并作为后世的准则;颂是歌颂和推广美德。“六义”原本是儒家用来阐述《诗经》创作手法的术语,后来也用它来说明一切诗歌的创作方式以及文学批评的基本原则。

The six basic elements were drawn from The Book of Songs by scholars of the Han Dynasty to promote the state’s governance, social enlightenment, and education. The six are: feng (ballad), which offers an insight into the influence of a sage’s thinking on ordinary folk customs; fu (narrative), which directly states the goodness or evilness of court politics; bi (analogy), which criticizes mildly the inadequacies of court politics by comparing one thing with another; xing (association), which extols a virtue by making an indirect reference to some other laudable thing; ya (court hymn), which shows the proper way of acquitting oneself as a norm for posterity to follow; and song (eulogy), which praises and promotes virtue. All the six elements were originally used by Confucian scholars to expound on the creative techniques in The Book of Songs. Later, they were used to emphasize creative styles of all works of poetry. They also served as essential principles of literary criticism.

引例 Citation:

◎风言贤圣治道之遗化也。赋之言铺,直铺陈今之政教善恶。比,见今之失,不敢斥言,取比类以言之。兴,见今之美,嫌于媚谀,取善事以喻劝之。雅,正也,言今之正者,以为后世法。颂之言诵也,容也,诵今之德,广以美之。(《周礼·春官·大师》郑玄注)

(风是从留存的民风习俗了解圣贤的治国之道。赋是铺陈的意思,即直接陈述那些反映时政得失的事情。比是看到时政弊端,但不敢直接指斥,而以类比的方式委婉指出。兴是看到当时政治清明,担心直接赞美好似阿谀谄媚,因此借其他美好事物加以晓谕和勉励。雅是“正”的意思,讲述当今正确的做法,作为后世遵循的准则。颂是“诵”[赞颂]和“容”[仪容]的意思,即通过赞颂仪容来赞美当今君主的品德,并且推广这种美德。)

A ballad tells how to run the country via the customs and folkways that have survived through the ages. A narrative flatly states the positive and negative things in state affairs. An analogy is made when one sees a vice in court politics but dares not directly point it out; it hints at the vice by describing something similar to it. An association, in view of the clean and honest governance of the time, voices its appreciation and support through borrowing from some other commendable thing, in order to avoid arousing suspicions of unscrupulous flattery. A court hymn is related to propriety, describing something rightly done and setting norms for people of later generations to observe. A eulogy praises and promotes a reigning monarch’s virtues by admiring his elegant, upright manner. (Zheng Xuan: Annotations on The Rites of Zhou)

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