转益多师 – Chinese philosophy and culture

zhuǎnyìduōshī 转益多师

Learn from Many Masters, Form Your Own Style

尽可能博采众长,以丰富自己的文艺创作。“转益”意为辗转自益,只要对自己创作有益的东西都应该加以学习吸收;“多师”谓广泛师法,不必专主一家。出自唐代诗人杜甫(712—770)《戏为六绝句》。它包含相互联系的两个方面:第一,尽可能广泛学习、师法古人或时贤的创作经验,博采众长,兼收并蓄;第二,在无所不师的同时既有继承也要有所批判。只有这样,才能合乎或接近《诗经》的风雅传统,形成自己的艺术风格。后来这一术语的使用范围由诗歌创作而扩展至文学艺术等各个领域。

The expression means to learn widely from others so as to enrich one’s own artistic creation. Zhuanyi (转益) means to learn and absorb everything that can further one’s creativity; duoshi (多师) means to learn from many teachers. This comes from “Six Playful Quatrains” by Du Fu (712-770) of the Tang Dynasty. There are two related meanings in this term: 1) learn from the experience and skills of all masters, past and present; and 2) while learning and carrying on the best, also be discerning, so as to approach or conform to the traditions of meaning and form as expressed in The Book of Songs, and then develop one’s own poetic style. The expression later came to include not just poetry but also literature and art.

引例 Citation:

◎未及前贤更勿疑,递相祖述复先谁?别裁伪体亲风雅,转益多师是汝师。(杜甫《戏为六绝句》其六)

(浅薄之辈不及前贤这点不必怀疑;代代继承前人为何区分谁先谁后?甄别去除猥杂不纯的诗歌而直接亲近《诗经》的风雅传统,多方师法、博采众长,才是你真正有益的老师。)

Superficial men are clearly not the equal of past masters; why would one mind who was the first to pass on the tradition? Discard the poorly written and learn from The Book of Songs. And learning from many past masters means you’ve found the right teacher. (Du Fu: Six Playful Quatrains)

◎昔昌黎进学,马、扬上并《盘》《诰》。杜陵论文,卢、骆譬之江河。同工异曲,转益多师,明示轨躅(zhuó),无区畺畛(jiānɡzhěn)。(陈墉《答吴子述书》)

(过去韩愈写《进学解》,把司马相如、扬雄的作品与古代的《尚书》相提并论。杜甫谈论诗文创作,把卢照邻、骆宾王的创作比作江河奔流。韩愈、杜甫的论述对象虽然不同,思路却是一致的,都强调博采众长、多方师法,给后人明确指示了文学创作的法则,不应自我封闭、自我设限。)

In his work “Progress in Learning,” Han Yu compared the writings of Sima Xiangru and Yang Xiong to The Book of History. In his commentary on poetry composition, Du Fu likened the works of Lu Zhaolin and Luo Binwang to rapidly flowing rivers. Han and Du were writing for different readers, but both believed in the value of learning from many teachers, and advised writers and poets not to close themselves off from multiple influences. (Chen Yong: Reply to Wu Zishu)

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