自然英旨 – Chinese philosophy and culture

zìrán yīngzhǐ 自然英旨

Charm of Spontaneity

在诗歌创作中不假雕饰地呈现自然万物之美和人的真情实感。“英旨”本义是美好的滋味,用为文学术语,指诗歌美妙的内容和意境。南朝钟嵘在《诗品序》中,要求诗人用自己的语言直接抒写思想感情,反对借用前人的诗句来吟咏自己的情志,批评五言诗创作中过度讲究辞藻和声律,认为符合“自然英旨”的创作才是最为珍贵的诗歌作品。后世文论中的“自然”“天真”等词传承了上述内涵。

This term means poetry creation should present the unembellished beauty of nature and the genuine sentiments of human beings. The original meaning of yingzhi (英旨) is good taste. Used as a literary term, however, it refers to charming content and imagery in poetry. In “Preface to ‘The Critique of Poetry,'” Zhong Rong of the Southern Dynasties called on poets to express their thoughts and sentiments in their own words and opposed borrowing expressions from ancient poets. He criticized the excessive attention to ornate language and tonal rhythms in the writing of five-character-per-line poetry. He maintained that spontaneously created poems of good taste were most valuable. The expressions “natural” and “simple and unaffected” in later literary criticisms contain Zhong Rong’s ideas.

引例 Citations:

◎近任昉、王元长等,词不贵奇,竞须新事,尔来作者,浸以成俗。遂乃句无虚语,语无虚字;拘挛补衲,蠹文已甚。但自然英旨,罕直其人。(钟嵘《诗品序》)

(近来的文人任昉、王融等,不注重语言创新,争相使用各种无人用过的典故,此后的作者逐渐形成了这样的习惯。于是没有不用典故的句子,没有无来历的字词;典故与自己的文字勉强牵合拼贴,对作品破坏严重。几乎很少有诗人能够写出不假雕饰地呈现自然美和真情实感的作品。)

Ren Fang, Wang Rong and some other writers of recent times have given no attention to linguistic innovation yet vied with each other for using literary allusions that no one else has ever employed. Subsequent writers have turned this practice into a habit. And so, all sentences must contain allusions, and every word and expression has to be traceable to some sources. Allusions are clumsily tacked onto the authors’ own words, severely damaging their works. There are few poets capable of producing works that display the pristine beauty of nature or their genuine sentiments. (Zhong Rong: Preface to “The Critique of Poetry”)

◎所示书教及诗赋杂文,观之熟矣。大略如行云流水,初无定质,但常行于所当行,常止于所不可不止,文理自然,姿态横生。(苏轼《答谢民师书》)

(你给我看的信和诗赋杂文,我阅读得很熟了。大致都像飘动着的云和流动着的水一样,本来没有固定的形态,常常是应该流动时就流动,不能不停止时就停止,文章条理自然,姿态多变而不受拘束。)

I have read with great interest the letters, poems, and essays you have sent to me. Broadly speaking, they are all like floating clouds and flowing waters, have no set form or structure, and frequently flow when they should flow and remain still when they must stop. The articles are presented in a natural way and have multiple and uninhibited styles. (Su Shi: A Letter of Reply to Xie Minshi)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *