劝百风一- Chinese philosophy and culture

quànbǎi-fěngyī 劝百风一

Much Blandishment and Little Criticism

描写奢靡生活占主要篇幅,而用于劝谏的文辞仅占很小比例。形容文章的立意本想使执政者警诫,效果却适得其反。西汉文学家扬雄(前53—公元18)认为,司马相如(前179?—前118)创作的辞赋,虽然文章结尾归于劝谏,但由于他在辞赋中着力描写、渲染汉武帝(前156—前87)的奢靡生活,使阅读者的注意力只会为辞赋中描画的帝国宏业所吸引,也由此助长了帝王的奢靡心理,劝谏讽喻的效果并不理想。因此,扬雄对司马相如的辞赋提出了批评。

This term means that an essay dwells too much on the luxurious life of a monarch to the neglect of the author’s original intention of admonishing him. In the Western Han Dynasty, writer Yang Xiong (53 BC-AD 18) held that although Sima Xiangru (179?-118 BC) always ended on a note of satirical criticism in his prose-poetry, he devoted too much space to the description and glorification of a monarch’s luxurious life, bringing readers’ attention to the grand achievements of the empire and feeding the monarch’s arrogance, thus impairing the admonitory effect. Therefore, Yang criticized Sima Xiangru for such a style of writing.

引例 Citation:

◎相如虽多虚辞滥说,然要其归引之于节俭,此亦《诗》之风(fěng)谏何异?扬雄以为靡丽之赋,劝百而风一,犹骋郑卫之声,曲终而奏雅,不已戏乎?(《汉书·司马相如传》)

(司马相如的辞赋虽然有大量假托的文辞与夸张的说法,但其文章的立意还是归于节俭,这与《诗经》的讽谏有什么不同呢?扬雄认为司马相如华丽的辞赋中,描写奢靡生活的文辞占主要篇幅,用于劝谏节俭的文辞不过百分之一,就好像一支乐队一直尽情演奏淫靡的郑卫之音,只在乐曲终了时才演奏一点儿庄严的雅乐,这不等同于游戏吗?)

Despite much ostentation and exaggeration, Sima Xiangru finally focused on the importance of being frugal. So what difference is there between this and nuanced criticism in The Book of Songs? Yang Xiong argued that in Sima Xiangru’s beautiful writing, descriptions of luxurious life dominated all space except toward the end of the essay, where admonitory words emerged extolling the merit of frugality. This can be likened to a musical band playing the decadent music of the states of Zheng and Wei up until the end of the performance, when the band finally struck up some majestic, elegant notes. Now isn’t it a joke? (The History of the Han Dynasty)

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