Translation of “悲慨” in English – Melancholy and Resentment

bēikǎi 

悲慨

By “key concepts in Chinese thought and culture” we mean concepts and keywords or phrases the Chinese people have created or come to use that are fundamentally pertinent to Chinese philosophy, humanistic spirit, way of thinking, and values.

Melancholy and Resentment

悲伤愤慨。慨,感慨,愤慨。是晚唐诗人司空图所概括的诗歌的二十四种风格之一。主要指诗作中所表现出的悲剧性情结。当诗人命途多舛或身处困境,或面对壮阔景观或大的事件而自觉力量渺小,会产生忧愁、悲哀、感伤、激愤的情绪,投射到诗歌创作中则形成“悲慨”风格。这一术语看似近于西方文学理论的“悲剧”范畴,实质上受道家思想影响较大,而最后往往趋于无奈或趋于旷达。

Melancholy and resentment, which here refers to a sense of helplessness found in poems, is one of the 24 poetic styles summarized by Sikong Tu, a poet in the late Tang Dynasty. Faced with frustrations and tough challenges in life, or overwhelmed by the immensity of nature or major events, poets were often seized by dejection, grief, sadness, and anger, which gave rise to a “melancholy and resentment” style in poetry writing. While the style bears similarity with the genre of tragedy in Western literary tradition, it is more influenced by Daoism, often featuring a sense of resignation or stoic optimism.

引例 Citations:

◎大风卷水,林木为摧。适苦欲死,招憩不来。百岁如流,富贵冷灰。大道日丧,若为雄才。壮士拂剑,浩然弥哀。萧萧落叶,漏雨苍苔。(司空图《二十四诗品·悲慨》)

(大风卷起狂澜,树木遭受摧折。心中悲苦痛不欲生,想休憩片刻亦不可得。百年岁月像流水永逝,富贵和繁华都化作冷寂尘埃。世道日益沦丧,谁是当世雄才?壮士拔剑仰天叹,凝望苍穹愈悲哀。好比落叶萧萧下,且听漏雨滴苍苔。)

Winds are howling, waves raging, and tree branches breaking. Gripped by an agonizing pain at my heart, I yearn for a spell of peace but only in vain. As time slips by, year after year, decade after decade, all the riches, fame, and splendor are but nothing. Facing moral degeneration, who will rise and salvage the world? With sword in hand, I heave a deep sigh and stare intensely at the sky. Overwhelmed with sorrow, all I can do is to watch leaves falling and hear rain beating against the moss. (Sikong Tu: Twenty-Four Styles of Poetry)

◎感叹之余,作诗相属,托物悲慨,阨穷而不怨,泰而不骄。(苏轼《和王晋卿[并叙]》)

(在感叹之余,蒙其作诗劝慰嘱咐,借景物抒发内心悲伤愤慨的情绪,虽遇困厄而不怨恨,命运通达也不骄狂。)

After a deep sigh, he wrote a poem to admonish and comfort me, in which he expressed his indignation and resentment by making an analogy with imagery. He advised me not to grudge about tough times or be complacent when everything goes well in life. (Su Shi: A Poem in Reply to Wang Jinqing with a Preface)

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