The Examination of Ancient Chinese People’s Aesthetic Inclination by Looking at the Moral of “Ospreys”

Hui-rong PENG


Confucianist of the Han Dynasty took the crying together of male and female ospreys in the the song “Fair, cry the ospreys” of the Book of Songs or Poetry (Shijing)as the harmonious relations of husband and wife. From Kongying of the Tang dynasty to Zhuxi of the Northern Song dynasty, as well as notes and commentaries of the Book of Songs or Poetry (Shijing) up to now, all have followed such an explanation. As a matter of fact, such an explanation is a wrong. What should be pointed out is: The moral of the line “"Fair, fair," cry the ospreys on the island in the river.”is not singing praise of the virtues of the girl to “attract the male’s attention”, nor does it mean the beautiful singing of the ospreys and the Spring aroma have aroused the romantic feelings of the girl and the gentleman. On the contrary, it is the picture of ospreys catching and enjoying fish in the river that aroused the gentleman’s desire to court the girl. On the basis of this understanding we can see that, in explaining the Book of Songs or Poetry (Shijing), later generations have demonstrated a romantic aesthetic inclination.
Keywords: Ospreys, Moral, Aesthetic inclination
Résumé Les intellectuels des Hans ont interprété le cri d’un couple d’orfraies dans Les Orfraies, Le Livre des odes comme la bonne entente d’un couple. Kong Yinda, Zhu Xi, et la plupart des commentataires d’aujourd’hui ont tous adopté cette interprétation. Mais c’est un malentendu. « Guan ! Guan ! crient les orfraies, sur l’île de la rivière », cette première ligne ne chante pas la vertu de la femme de l’empereur Wen de la dynastie des Zhous, ni signifie que le chant des orfraies et l’atmosphère du printemps excitent la belle fille et le gentleman, mais que l’image des orfraies qui mangent les poissons soulève le désir du gentleman de chercher son épouse. D’où on peut constater que les commentataires ont manifesté une tendance esthétique romantiste en commentant Le Livre des odes.
Mots-clés: orfraies, métaphore, tendance esthétique
摘要 漢儒將《詩經•關雎》中雎鳩雌雄和鳴比喻成夫妻和諧相處 , 從孔穎達到朱熹,以及至今大量的《詩經》注本都在沿襲著漢儒的解釋。這一詮釋實際上是一種誤解。應該修正的是:“關關雎鳩,在河之洲”的興義,既不是美後妃之德,不是“以義鳴其雄”,也不是指好鳥的和鳴﹑春天的氣息,喚起淑女和君子,而是雎鳩在河洲食魚的景象,喚起了君子求偶于淑女的願望。基於這種認識,可以看出,後人在詮釋《詩經》時表現出一種浪漫主義審美傾向。

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