知音 – Chinese philosophy and culture

zhīyīn 知音

Resonance and Empathy

体会和理解文艺作品的意蕴与作者的思想感情。原指音乐欣赏中的知己,后经魏晋南北朝时期文艺批评家的阐释,用来泛指文艺鉴赏中的心心相印、互相理解。“知音”作为文学批评的核心概念,涉及文艺创作与鉴赏中的个体差异与共性等诸多问题,有着丰富的精神蕴涵,与西方的读者反应批评理论、接受美学、解释学等基本思想有一致之处。

The term is about appreciating and understanding the ideas in literary and artistic works and the thoughts of their authors. The original meaning was feeling a sense of resonance with music. It was later extended by literary critics in the Wei, Jin, and Southern and Northern dynasties to mean resonance or empathy between writers / artists and their readers / viewers. As a core concept in literary criticism, it touches upon both general and particular issues in artistic creation and appreciation, involves rich intellectual implications, and meshes with the audience’s response in Western criticism, receptive aesthetics, and hermeneutics.

引例 Citations:

◎是故不知声者不可与言音,不知音者不可与言乐,知乐则几于礼矣。(《礼记·乐记》)

(不懂自然声音的人无法与其谈论音律,不懂音律的人无法与其谈论音乐,通晓音乐的人也就接近懂得礼了。)

Talking about melody with someone who has no ear for natural sounds would be a waste of time, and so would discussing music with someone who knows nothing about melody. One who knows music is close to understanding social norms. (The Book of Rites)

◎知音其难哉!音实难知,知实难逢,逢其知音,千载其一乎!(刘勰《文心雕龙·知音》)

(理解音乐是多么困难啊!音乐实在难于理解,理解音乐的人很难遇到,要遇到理解音乐的人,恐怕是千年一遇呀!)

It is such a challenge to understand music! Since music is so hard to understand, it is difficult to find people who can appreciate it. It may take a thousand years to find someone who understands music! (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)

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