兴 – Chinese philosophy and culture

xīng 兴

Evocation

主要指由外物触发内心情感而产生的审美感受和心理状态。作为美学范畴的“兴”接受了“兴观群怨”之“兴(xīnɡ)”与“赋比兴”之“兴(xìnɡ)”的双重影响而兼有两者的含义。从欣赏的角度来看,孔子所提出的“兴观群怨”之“兴”,注重读诗而引发的心理感受和教育功能,并非纯粹的文学理论;从创作的角度来看,“兴”是《诗经》“六义”(风、雅、颂、赋、比、兴)之一,一般说来,前三者为《诗经》的内容与体裁分类,后三者为《诗经》的创作手法。“兴”的基本特征为:由相类似的事物引发开来,运用想象与联想,达成譬喻,由此及彼,将所要表达的意义蕴含在形象中,使诗歌的韵味更加含蓄、深邃。“兴”将诗歌的发端与联想完整地融为一体,使人在鉴赏中回味无穷,是中国古代诗歌创作的特有手法。“兴”起初与“比”结合紧密,魏晋南北朝时它的蕴含和审美特征逐渐获得独立的发展,成为与“比兴”分立的诗学范畴,“兴”更注重外物对内心的感发触动。

This term refers to the state of mind in which external things evoke one’s inner feelings, thus creating aesthetic appreciation. As an aesthetic term, evocation means both stimulation and association. In artistic appreciation, Confucius used evocation to refer to the psychological effect and educational function of reading poetry, and it was not meant to be a literary term only. In artistic creation, evocation means association, which is among the six poetic forms, namely, ballads, narratives, analogies, association, court hymns, and eulogy, as described in The Book of Songs. The first three refer to the content and subtypes of classic Chinese poetry, whereas the latter three elements are creative means employed by The Book of Songs. Evocation is defined by the use of similar or relevant things to create a metaphor which, by virtue of imagination and association, conveys a message through imagery and highlights the nuances of poetry. Evocation arouses one’s imagination through reading a poem, making such experience an enjoyable one. It is a rhetorical means frequently used in classical Chinese poetry. At first, evocation was closely linked to analogy. Its implication and aesthetic properties started to grow independently in the Wei, Jin and Southern and Northern Dynasties period, and finally became a poetic term different from analogy and association. Evocation focuses on the impact of external things on one’s emotions.

引例 Citations:

◎兴于诗,立于礼,成于乐(yuè)。(《论语·泰伯》)

(以诗感发意志,以礼规范行为,以乐成就人格。)

One uses poetry to evoke volition, rituals and etiquette to regulate behavior and music to shape one’s character. (The Analects)

◎兴者,起也。取譬引类,起发己心。《诗》文诸举草木鸟兽以见意者,皆兴辞也。(孔颖达《毛诗正义》卷一引郑众语)

(兴,就是起意。借相类似的事物取譬喻,引发自己的情感、心志。《诗经》文本中列举草木鸟兽以表现作者情感、心志的情况,都是“兴”一类的词句。)

Evocation means using certain things in the outer world to arouse one’s emotions and aspirations. The Book of Songs, for example, cites trees, grass, birds and animals to evoke such feelings. (Kong Yingda: Rectification of Mao’s Annotations on The Book of Songs)

◎《诗》有六义,其四为兴。兴者,因事发耑(duān),托物喻意,随时成咏。(王闿运《诗法一首示黄生》)

(《诗经》有六义,第四为兴。兴,就是依凭事物而感发,借事物寄托自己的意旨,随时吟诵成诗。)

The Book of Songs contains six genres: ballads, narratives, analogies, association, court hymns, and eulogy. The fourth one, namely “association,” means that the poet makes use of things from the outer world to voice his feelings and volition, thus creating a poem. (Wang Kaiyun: A Poem Written to Show Mr. Huang How to Write Poetry)

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