戏文 – Chinese philosophy and culture

xìwén 戏文

Operatic Script / Southern Opera

泛指中国传统戏曲的剧本,也专指南戏。南戏是北宋末年至明末清初流行于浙江温州和福建沿海一带,在传统民间歌舞基础上发展起来的一种地方戏曲,与流行于北方的宋元杂剧并行,明清演变为传奇,是中国戏曲史上发展最早、最成熟、最能体现中国戏剧特质的戏曲形态。

Xiwen (戏文) refers to script of traditional Chinese operas. The term also refers to southern China opera. The latter is a type of local opera which had developed from traditional folk songs and dances and was popular in China’s southeastern coastal areas from the late Northern Song Dynasty to the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. Xiwen became popular in northern China in the Song and Yuan dynasties, just like poetic drama set to music at the time. Southern opera later developed into the legends of Ming and Qing dynasties. This earliest and mature operatic form best represents traditional Chinese opera.

引例 Citation:

◎南宋温州乐清县僧祖杰横行霸道,旁观不平,惟恐其漏网也,乃撰为戏文,以广其事。(周密《癸辛杂识别集·祖杰》)

(南宋时期,温州乐清县的僧人祖杰,在地方横行霸道,旁观者觉得不平,怕他逃脱法网,于是将他的事情编成戏文,让更多的人了解他的恶行。)

In the Southern Song Dynasty, a monk named Zujie in Yueqing County of Wenzhou rode roughshod over the locals. People resented what he did, so they compiled his evil deeds into opera scripts to make more people know about the ruffian and hoped that this would help bring him to justice. (Zhoumi: A Collection of My Rambling Notes from Hangzhou)

◎宋之戏文,乃有唱念,有诨。(夏庭芝《青楼集志》)

(宋朝的戏剧,是仅有唱歌、念白和插科打诨。)

An opera script in the Song Dynasty consists only of songs, lines and jesting. (Xia Tingzhi: Preface to Biographies of Courtesans)

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