意境 – Chinese philosophy and culture

yìjìnɡ 意境

Aesthetic Conception

指文艺作品所描绘的景象与所表现的思想情感高度融合而形成的审美境界。“境”本指疆界、边界,汉末魏晋时期佛教传入中国,认为现实世界皆为空幻,唯有心灵感知才是真实的存在,“境”被认为是人的心灵感知所能达到的界域。作为文艺术语,“境”有多重含义。“意境”由唐代著名诗人王昌龄提出,侧重指文艺作品中主观感知到的物象与精神蕴涵相统一所达到的审美高度,其特点是“取意造境”“思与境偕”。相对于“意象”,“意境”更突出文艺作品的精神蕴涵与美感的高级形态,它拓展了作品情与景、虚与实、心与物等概念的应用,提升了文艺作品及审美活动的层次。后经过历代丰富发展,“意境”成为评价文艺作品水准的重要概念,是历代经典作品层累的结果,也是优秀文艺作品必须具备的重要特征。“意境”这一术语也是外来思想文化与中华本土思想融合的典范。

The term refers to a state where the scene described in a literary or artistic work reflects the sense and sensibility intended. Jing (境) originally meant perimeter or boundary. With the introduction of Buddhism into China during the late Han, Wei and Jin dynasties, the idea gained popularity that the physical world was but an illusion, and that only the mind was real in existence. So jing came to be seen as a realm that could be attained by having sensibilities of the mind. As a literary and artistic term, jing has several meanings. The term yijing (意境) was originally put forward by renowned Tang poet Wang Changling. It describes an intense aesthetic experience in which one’s perception of an object reaches a realm of perfect union with the implication denoted by the object. Aesthetic appreciation in the mind is characterized by “projecting meaning into a scene” and “harmonizing one’s thought with a scene.” In contrast with the term yixiang (意象), yijing (意境) fully reveals the implication and the heightened aesthetic sense that an artistic work is intended to deliver. The concept is extended to include other notions such as sentiment and scene, actual and implied meanings, or mind and object. It also raises literary and artistic works to a new realm of aesthetic appreciation. After evolving through several dynasties, this concept developed into an important criterion to judge the quality of a literary or artistic work, representing an accomplishment drawing on classical writings through ages. It has also become a hallmark for all outstanding literary and artistic works. The term also represents a perfect union between foreign thoughts and culture and those typically Chinese.

引例 Citations:

◎诗有三境:一曰物境。欲为山水诗,则张泉石云峰之境,极丽绝秀者,神之于心,处身于境,视境于心,莹然掌中,然后用思,了然物象,故得形似。二曰情境。娱乐愁怨,皆张于意而处于身,然后用思,深得其情。三曰意境。亦张之于意而思之于心,则得其真矣。(王昌龄《诗格》)

(诗歌有三种境:一是物境。想作山水诗,就要尽所能扩大你对泉石、高耸入云的山峰的观察,将其中极秀丽的景色及神韵印之于心,置身其间,再于内心审视所得到的物境,直至如同在手掌上观察一样真切,然后进行构思,对所要描绘的具体物象了然于心,所以能得形似。二是情境。欢乐、悲愁、哀怨等情绪,都要尽量扩大你对它们的认识,切身感受,然后构思,就能将这些情感深刻地表现出来。三是意境。也同样需要扩大你对它的认识,在内心反复思索,然后就能得到意境的本真。)

A poem accomplishes aesthetic conception in three ways. The first is through objects. If you want to write poems about landscape, you need to observe intensely springs and creeks, rocks and towering peaks, imprint their extraordinary beauty and charm on your memory, put yourself in the scene created in your mind, and view in your mind’s eye the image you obtain until you can see it as vividly as if it were right on your palm. By then, you can start to think about writing the poem. A deep appreciation of the scene and its objects is instrumental in achieving a true poetic image. The second is through sentiments. Sentiments such as happiness, pleasure, sorrow, and anger should be allowed to develop in your mind. You should experience them personally to fully grasp the nature of these emotions. This will enable you to express them in a profound way. The third is through an imagined scene. This requires you to reach aesthetic appreciation by reflecting it in your mind time and again. Then you can capture the genuine nature of an idea. (Wang Changling: Rules of Poetry)

◎作诗之妙,全在意境融彻,出音声之外,乃得真味。(朱承爵《存余堂诗话》)

(作诗的妙处,全在于意境的浑融相通,超出声音之上,才能品味诗歌的本真韵味。)

A beautifully composed poem is one in which the blending of image and concept is such that it transcends that of sound and music. Only then can one savor the real charm of poetry. (Zhu Chengjue: Comments on the Collection of Poems from Cunyutang Study)

◎诗之格调有尽,吾人之意境日出而不穷。(周炳曾《道援堂诗序》)

(诗的体制、声律是有限的,我们这些诗人的意境却每天有新创,无穷无尽。)

Poems have limited verse forms and rhythmic patterns, but we poets are capable of creating fresh ideas every day, all the time. (Zhou Bingzeng: Preface to Collection of Poems from Daoyuantang Study)

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