哀吊 – Chinese philosophy and culture

āidiào 哀吊

Essay of Mourning and Essay of Memory

古代文体名称,用于哀悼死者或对遭遇不幸者表示慰问。“哀”的意思是哀悼、哀悯,最早用于哀悼夭折短寿的人,后也用于哀悯身遭不幸的人或不幸的事;“吊”的意思是凭吊,是对逝者表达追思或对遭遇不幸之事的人、国家等表示慰问。从哀吊对象说,“哀”一般用于当下的人或事,而“吊”常用于古人。从文体上说两者区别不大,略相当于今天的悼词,属于应用文,有些可以视为悼亡、怀古类的抒情散文。刘勰(465?—520)在《文心雕龙》中指出,哀辞重在表达对未及立德建功者的痛惜之情,因此不必追求辞藻;吊文多用于缅怀古人,因此常寓一定褒贬评价,具有反思和感怀的特点。这些见解对于今天的散文写作仍有指导意义。

Ai (哀) and diao (吊) essays were written in ancient times to express mourning for someone who had died a natural death or from an extreme misfortune. Ai, or an essay of mourning, was written to express grief or compassion. It was originally written for someone who died young; later, it was written to mourn a person’s miserable life or unfortunate encounters. Diao, or an essay of memory, was intended to express one’s deep affection for a long-deceased person or to offer his sincere condolences to the fatal misfortune suffered by a particular country or an individual. An essay of mourning was usually written for a recently deceased person, whereas an essay of memory showed one’s abiding love for someone who died long ago. Stylistically, there is much resemblance between these two types of writing. They were like today’s condolence speeches delivered at funerals, and some may be characterized as mourning or nostalgic lyrical essays. As Liu Xie (465?-520) put it in his literary critique The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons, ai, or an essay of mourning, expresses sorrow for the deceased person’s yet unaccomplished merits, so it need not be excessively rhetorical in style. Diao, or an essay of memory, on the other hand, often shows one’s love for someone who died long ago, so it may contain an evaluation of his life tinged with sentimental attachment. Liu’s views still influence prose writing today.

引例 Citations:

◎奢体为辞,则虽丽不哀;必使情往会悲,文来引泣,乃其贵耳。(刘勰《文心雕龙·哀吊》)

(以浮夸文风写作哀辞,虽然华丽却不会使人哀伤;一定要让所抒之情出于内心悲痛,写出的文辞使人悲泣,这才是可贵的作品。)

Ai, an essay of mourning, written in a pompous style, beautiful as it may sound, will not really arouse a sense of grief among its readers. Only an essay which expresses one’s deeply felt emotions and moves readers to tears can be regarded as a truly remarkable essay. (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)

◎夫吊虽古义,而华辞未造;华过韵缓,则化而为赋。固宜正义以绳理,昭德而塞违,割析褒贬,哀而有正,则无夺伦矣。(刘勰《文心雕龙·哀吊》)

(“吊”的意义虽然很古,但写得华丽则是后来的事情;华丽过分而节奏弛缓,就演变为“赋”了。应该端正意义而斟酌事理,彰显美德而防范过失,辨析善恶而加以褒贬,表达哀情而内容纯正,这样就不会违背吊文的写作原则了。)

Although the meaning of diao, or an essay of memory can be traced a long way back, it was much later that an essay of memory became excessively rhetorical in style. If such an essay is written in a flowery style and drags on, it would look more like fu or rhapsodic prose. In writing an essay of memory, one should focus on a key message and explains its relevance, extol virtue and warn against errors, distinguish right from wrong and make evaluation accordingly, and express grief without distracting from the core message. These are rules to be observed in writing essays of memory. (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)

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