幻中有真 – Chinese philosophy and culture

huàn zhōng yǒu zhēn 幻中有真

Truth in Imagination

指文艺作品的情节与景象虽是通过想象与虚构写成但却具有内在的真实,可以折射社会现实。佛教与道家思想认为,现实社会是变幻不定的,人们不可执迷于这种幻象,而应当超越这种幻象,认识事物的真谛。文艺批评家提出,人们认识文艺作品与生活现实,应当善于透过幻象而把握作品的真实,获取美感。“幻中有真”作为一个文学批评术语,不仅揭示了文艺的审美特征和意义,也揭示了文艺创作的基本规律,即艺术形象的创造须以现实生活为依据,但又不能拘泥于现实生活,而应达到生活真实与艺术真实的高度统一。

The term means that the plot of scenes in a literary work, while imaginary, nonetheless have inner force and reflect reality in society. According to Buddhist and Daoist thought, society is transitory and shifting and people should not hold on to something unreal; rather, they should transcend delusions and recognise the true essence of things. As pointed out by literary and art critics, to gain keen appreciation of literary works and real life, people should learn to go beyond the imaginary aspect to grasp the truth of a creative work so as to enjoy its beauty. As a term in literary criticism, truth in imagination not only sheds light on the aesthetic function and significance of literature and arts, but also reveals a fundamental principle of literary and artistic creation, that is, art creation should be rooted in real life but not limited by it. Instead, it should aim at blending the truth of life and artistic imagination.

引例 Citations:

◎故不得已描写人生幻境之离合悲欢,以及善善恶恶,令阅者触目知警。(烟霞散人《幻中真》序)

(因此不得已通过虚构描写人生离合悲欢的情境,以及善得善报、恶得恶报的各种故事,让读者读到这些之后懂得警醒。)

Therefore, [the author] has to describe separation and reunion, happiness and sadness in the illusory world of human life, as well as telling stories of reward for good and punishment for evil deeds, so the reader learns from it and is warned.(Yanxia Sanren: Preface to Truth in Imagination)

◎即如《西游》一记……师弟四人,各一性情,各一动止,试摘取其一言一事,遂使暗中摹索,亦知其出自何人,则正以幻中有真,乃为传神阿堵。(睡乡居士《二刻拍案惊奇》序)

(就拿《西游记》一书来说……师徒四人,各有各的性情,各有各的言行举止,尝试摘出某句话或某一举止,让人不看原书而暗自揣摩,也可以知道出自何人。正因为虚构的人物有现实的影子,才能够产生如见真人的传神效果。)

Take the novel Journey to the West as an example… The master and his three disciples each have their distinctive personalities, manners and behavior. If you cite a certain word or action and ask people to guess who did or said it, they will know who it is. Only when there is truth in imagination, can such a life-like effect be achieved. (Shuixiang Jushi: Preface to Amazing Stories, Vol. Two)

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