涵泳 – Chinese philosophy and culture

hányǒng 涵泳

Be Totally Absorbed (in Reading and Learning)

原指阅读经典作品时,要像潜泳一样沉浸其中、反复玩味,方能有所收获,激发自己的情志和感悟。作为一种读书做学问的方法,它强调调动自己的经验和学养,努力思考书中的问题、观点、材料及事实,使自己的学问如源头活水而常新。作为一种理解与诠释文艺作品的方法,它强调努力进入作品特定的情境,通过反复体会与咀嚼,最终领略作品的深层意蕴及审美意境。它也表明文艺作品具有兴发志意和感化人心的效力。

This term originally refers to an attitude in reading classics, requiring one to become deeply absorbed in the work as if one were submerged in water, repeatedly ruminating on its meaning until one is able to fully digest its significance so that it informs one’s own feelings and insights. In time this becomes a way of learning, impelling one to mobilize one’s own experience and accumulated knowledge to think deeply about what he is reading so that knowledge is endlessly renewed and refreshed. As a method of understanding and interpreting literary works, it requires one to place one’s own thought in the particular world of the work so that one becomes deeply aware of why the work was so written and can master its subtle meanings and artistic conception. This method is premised on the understanding that literary works can be deeply inspiring and enlightening.

引例 Citations:

◎学者读书,须要敛身正坐,缓视微吟,虚心涵泳,切己省察。(《朱子语类》卷十一)

(学者读书,必须收腹端坐,慢慢看,轻声念,放空心灵,沉浸其中,并结合自身经验进行思考和体察。)

When a scholar reads a book, he must sit straight, read attentively, read out softly, focus all his thought on the book, be entirely absorbed in it, and meditate on its significance from his own experience. (Classified Conversations of Master Zhu Xi)

◎此等语言自有个血脉流通处,但涵泳久之,自然见得条畅浃洽,不必多引外来道理、言语,却壅滞诗人活底意思也。(朱熹《朱文公文集》卷四十)

(这些语言都有内在的血脉连通之处,只要沉潜其中反复玩味,自然能够理清头绪,融会贯通,不必引用很多外来的道理和言论,这样反而遮蔽诗人真正想要表达的意思。)

Such language has an inner coherence and logical line of thought. When a person has been deeply absorbed in it for long, he naturally understands how to articulate its complexities and unite its core ideas. There is no need to rely on theories and discussions extraneous to the work. To do so would only be to stifle what the poet intended to express. (Zhu Xi: Collected Works of Zhu Xi)

◎熟绎上下文,涵泳以求其立言之指,则差别毕见矣。(王夫之《姜斋诗话》卷二)

(细致推究上下文的联系,沉浸其中以求把握文章的主旨,那么不同文章的差别就会完全显现出来了。)

By carefully studying the literary context of a text, and by becoming so absorbed in the text as to master its essence, one will be able to discern the essential differences between different literary works. (Wang Fuzhi: Desultory Remarks on Poetry from Ginger Studio)

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