正始体 – Chinese philosophy and culture

zhènɡshǐtǐ 正始体

The Zhengshi Literary Style

指三国曹魏后期(公元240—265年)的文学风格。因始于魏齐王曹芳正始年间(公元240—249年),故名。这一时期的政治现实极其严酷,正始文人因此以哲学眼光来看待、思考更为广阔的人生和宇宙问题。深刻的理性思考和强烈的人生悲哀,构成了正始文学最基本的特点。正始文学的主要特征是崇尚老庄,以玄理入诗,呈现出浓厚的哲理色彩。当时作家主要有两派:一派是以何晏、王弼为代表,开两晋“玄言诗”之先河;另一派是以嵇康、阮籍为代表,继承建安文学传统,其作品有深厚的思想感情、鲜明的时代特色和个性特点,因而成就较大。

The term refers to the literary style of the final years of the State of Wei (240–265) in the Three Kingdoms period. It emerged in the Zhengshi era (240–249) under the reign of Cao Fang, also known as Prince Qi of Wei. Facing the harsh prevailing political conditions, literary figures of the era viewed life and the world in a broader and philosophical context, and profound and rational analysis as well as penetrating depiction of human tragedies were underlying features of their writings. Reverence for Laozi and Zhuangzi was a key feature of this literary style, with poetry, in particular, being abstruse and philosophical in terms of message. The Zhengshi style had two schools. One was represented by He Yan and Wang Bi, whose works heralded the Jin-dynasty metaphysical poetry. The other school, represented by literary figures like Ji Kang and Ruan Ji, was more influential. Building on the Jian’an literary tradition, they conveyed in their writings profound thought and emotions, and gave vivid expression to social life at the time with intense individual characteristics.

引例 Citation:

◎及正始明道,诗杂仙心,何晏之徒,率多浮浅。唯嵇志清峻,阮旨遥深,故能标焉。(刘勰《文心雕龙·明诗》)

(到了正始年间,盛行道家思想,诗歌夹杂出尘求仙的内容。何晏等人的作品大都比较浅薄。只有嵇康的诗有清远高峻的情志,阮籍的诗表现出深远意旨,所以他们能高出同时代人。)

By the Zhengshi era, Daoism was popular and, as a result, poetry reflected people’s desire to reach the immortal world. Works by He Yan and his followers were for the most part superficial. Only Ji Kang expressed lofty ideals, and Ruan Ji showed depth and insight in his poetry; they thus stood out among the writers of that age. (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)

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