文章 – Chinese philosophy and culture

wénzhānɡ 文章

Literary Writing

泛指一切著述,包括今天意义上的文章和著作。先秦时这一术语包含在文学之内,两汉时“文章”一词与“文学”对举,指一切用文字写下来的文辞、篇章、史书、论著,六朝时“文章”与“文学”并列,开始指后世所说的审美范畴的“文学”,但仍作为统括一切文体的范畴使用。“章”意为一曲音乐演奏完毕,或一曲完整的音乐,故此术语强调作品意义和结构的完整,注重文章写作手法与技巧;“文”和“章”都有花纹、色彩错杂的意思,“文章”相当于美的形式,故此术语隐含了审美观念,早期“文章”的概念与“文学”概念有一定联系又有所区别。“文章”偏重于辞章美文,说明了人们对于文章审美价值的逐渐重视。

The term refers to all kinds of writings, including what we call essays and books today. In the Pre-Qin period, this term was subsumed under literature. During the Han Dynasty, the term referred to writings other than wenxue (文学documents of previous dynasties) to specifically mean essays, articles, history books, and treatises. In the Six Dynasties, the term, together with wenxue, began to assume the meaning of what later generations meant by literature, that is, writings for aesthetic appreciation which encompass every type of literary works. Zhang (章) also implies a movement of music played to its finish, or a single piece of music. Therefore, the term focuses on both meaning and structure as well as writing skills and techniques. Both Chinese characters in the term have the meaning of interwoven patterns and colors. Together, they signify a beautiful form, giving the term an aesthetic connotation. The earlier concept of the term is related to but different from that of wenxue, with the former focusing more on elegant diction and style, indicating increasing attention to the aesthetic value of literary works.

引例 Citations:

◎文章者,盖情性之风标,神明之律吕也。蕴思含毫,游心内运,放言落纸,气韵天成。(《南齐书·文学传论》)

(所谓文章,乃是人的感情性格变化的风向标、内在精神的一种量杆。下笔之前蓄积文思,内心思绪自由驰骋,等到形诸纸墨时,文章的气韵自然天成。)

Literary writings reflect one’s moods and disposition, or give expression to one’s inner world. Before writing, one should gather his thoughts and free his mind so as to transcend the limitations of time and space. Thus, once he starts writing, his work will achieve its flavor naturally. (The History of Qi of the Southern Dynasties)

◎圣贤书辞,总称文章,非采而何?(刘勰《文心雕龙·情采》)

(古代圣贤的著作文辞,都叫做“文章”,这不是因为它们都具有文采吗?)

Writings by sages in ancient times are all called “literary writings.” Isn’t this because they all have literary elegance? (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)

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