冲淡 – Chinese philosophy and culture

chōngdàn 冲淡

Quiet Elegance

冲和平淡。用于文艺批评,主要指语言平和质朴、意境闲适恬静的一种诗歌风格。它看似空无所有,实则充盈无限;看似平淡无奇,实则意味悠长。这多与作者冲和平淡的性情相应,反映作者尝遍人生百味之后的心态与境界,是超越一切语言表达与文章法则的真情流露。冲淡作为一种美学理念,不仅影响到文艺创作,也塑造文人学士的心性,影响他们的人生态度。

This term is used in literary criticism to refer to a poetic style marked by the plainness and simplicity of wording and by a leisurely quietude. Despite its seeming sterility, such a style is full of life’s potentialities and possesses a profound appeal. This echoes the author’s mild and placid temperament, showing his mental attitude and spiritual realm of life after he has gone through life’s hardships and struggles–a natural expression of feeling which transcends all forms of verbal articulation and all rules of writing. As an aesthetic notion, quiet elegance has not only influenced artistic creation but also shaped the spiritual being of men of letters, helping to cultivate their outlook on life.

引例 Citations:

◎以虚诞而为高古,以缓慢而为冲淡。(释皎然《诗式·诗有六迷》)

(把虚妄荒诞当作高远古朴,把节奏松缓当作冲和平淡。)

Fabrication and absurdity are mistaken for loftiness and primitive simplicity, and languidness for quiet elegance. (Shi Jiaoran: Poetic Styles)

◎唐初王、杨、沈、宋擅名,然不脱齐梁之体。独陈拾遗首倡高雅冲澹之音,一扫六代之纤弱,趋于黄初、建安矣。(刘克庄《后村诗话》卷一)

(唐朝初年,只有王勃、杨炯、沈佺期、宋之问享有盛名,但是尚未摆脱齐梁时期追求形式绮丽的风格。唯独陈子昂最先发出诗歌应当高雅冲淡的声音,一扫六朝以来的纤细柔弱,写作风格自此开始向黄初、建安时期的诗歌靠拢。)

In the early Tang period, Wang Bo, Yang Jiong, Shen Quanqi, and Song Zhiwen were the only ones who enjoyed widespread renown, yet none of them had freed themselves of the obsession with formal beauty pursued by poets of the Qi-Liang era. Chen Zi’ang alone argued for quiet elegance in poetry, making a clean sweep of the cloying sentimentality of the Six Dynasties. After that, the style of poetry shifted toward that of the Huangchu and Jian’an eras of the Wei Kingdom. (Liu Kezhuang: Houcun’s Poetic Remarks)

◎陶渊明诗所不可及者,冲澹深粹,出于自然。(杨时《龟山集·语录·荆州所闻》)

(陶渊明的诗之所以为后人所不能及,是因为他的诗冲和平淡、深刻纯粹,完全出于自然性情的流露。)

Tao Yuanming’s poetry has remained unrivaled because of its quiet elegance, profundity and purity. It fully shows his natural feelings. (Yang Shi: Collected Essays of Yang Shi)

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