写气图貌 – Chinese philosophy and culture

xiě qì tú mào 写气图貌

Depict Outward Features to Convey an Innate Liveliness

指从事文学创作时描摹事物的外在形貌,传达事物的内在气势、神韵。它强调文学创作不能仅是描摹事物的外在形貌,更要用心灵把握对象,达到物我交融的境界,着力表达事物的气势、神韵或者人对事物的内在情感,如此方能创作出优秀的作品。

This term refers to the act of depicting the outward features of an object to convey its innate character in literary writing. It stresses the need not only to reproduce in words whatever appears before one’s eyes but also to capture it with one’s soul, thus achieving a close communion with the object depicted. The point is to bring out the hidden impact and spirit of things, or to express a profound feeling toward them. Only thus can an excellent work of art be produced.

引例 Citations:

◎写气图貌,既随物以宛转;属采附声,亦与心而徘徊。(刘勰《文心雕龙·物色》)

(描摹事物的外形特征及内在的气势或神韵,要随着景物不同而有曲折变化;安排辞藻和音律,要根据自己的内心感受而来回推敲。)

In depicting the external traits of an object and capturing its hidden momentum or spirit, it is advisable to vary one’s style in accordance with circumstances; in choosing one’s wording and poetic rhythm, one should mentally weigh all possibilities before deciding on the best one in response to a call from deep within. (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)

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