寄托 – Chinese philosophy and culture

jìtuō 寄托

Entrusting

指诗歌作品通过形象化而寄寓作者的主观认识或感受,并能激发读者的联想。“寄”是寄寓一定的思想内容和个人情志,“托”是托物兴咏。是清代常州词派提出的一个文学术语。张惠言主张词要继承《诗经》的比兴、讽喻传统。周济进而认为,初学写词应力求有寄托,以提升作品意蕴、激发读者的思考和艺术想象;待入门后,则不能拘于寄托,而要言意浑融,无迹可寻。这一主张实质是反对观念先行,强调文学自身的特性,对于当时的文学创作有积极的导向作用。

The term refers to the entrusting of the poet’s subjective understanding or sentiments to imagery in poetic works. It can also stir responsive appreciation of the reader. Ji (寄) means having a specific thought or individual feelings, and tuo (托) means giving expression to such thought or feelings through the channel of an object. It is a literary term first used by a group of ci (词 lyric) poets from Changzhou during the Qing Dynasty. Zhang Huiyan stressed that lyric writing should follow the tradition of analogies, associations and allegories in The Book of Songs. Zhou Ji further suggested that an aspiring poet should entrust his thought to imagery in order to raise the artistic appeal of his work and stimulate the imagination of the reader. After having established himself, however, the poet should not be bound by the technique of entrusting to imagery; rather, his words and sentiments should blend seamlessly. This view emphasized the primacy of nature of literature as opposed to the primacy of concept and provided a new guidance for literary creation at the time.

引例 Citation:

◎夫词,非寄托不入,专寄托不出。(周济《宋四家词选目录序论》)

(作词,如果没有寄托,就很难深入;如果只专力于寄托,就不能意出词外。)

When writing ci poetry, one cannot effectively express one’s thoughts and sentiments without entrusting them to imagery. On the other hand, overreliance on imagery will make it hard for one to clearly express his idea. (Zhou Ji: Preface to Contents of Selected Poems of the Four Poets of the Song Dynasty)

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