вход по аккаунту



код для вставкиСкачать
Monumenta Serica
Journal of Oriental Studies
ISSN: 0254-9948 (Print) 2057-1690 (Online) Journal homepage:
Roots of the Han Rhapsody in Philosophical Prose
Zhang Cangshou & Jonathan Pease
To cite this article: Zhang Cangshou & Jonathan Pease (1993) Roots of the Han Rhapsody in
Philosophical Prose, Monumenta Serica, 41:1, 1-27, DOI: 10.1080/02549948.1993.11731238
To link to this article:
Published online: 27 Apr 2016.
Submit your article to this journal
View related articles
Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at
Download by: [Florida State University]
Date: 12 November 2017, At: 05:18
Monumenta Serica
41 (1 993): 1-27
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Absorption and Mingling of Confucian and Th oist Thought
. . . . . .. 2
(1) Incisive, Undisguised Attacks against Contemporary Ills . . . . 8
(2) Exaggerated La nguage and Subtle Barbs
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
(3) Unabashed Joking that Hides a Solemn Message .......... 12
Transmission and Development of Li terary Creation Theories
. . . . .. 14
Artistic Heritage and Innovations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 20
(1) Common Conceptual Approach: Coining Symbolic
Names or Epithets to Represent Ideas
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 20
(2) Common Stylistic Traditions: Bold Imaginary
La ndscapes and Sharply Etched Personalities
. . . . . . . . . . . .. 22
Common Organizational Approaches: Parallel Presentations , Cataloguing , Topically Ordered Descriptions . . . . . .. 25
In Sum ....................................................... 26
It is said that the fu belongs to the stream of aricient Odes.
Ban Gu 班固 (32-92)1
The "Li sao" is the ancestor of the fu.
段 E骂赋之祖
Li u Xizai I到熙载 (1813 一 1881)2
China's first literary golden age began during the Eastern Zhou , roughly from
the sixth through the third centuries B.C. Poetry - both the lyric shi 苛 and
rhapsodic fu 赋 or its prototypes - began to burgeon along with prose; prose
and verse alike showed evidence of conscious literary technique, while subject
matter and rhetorical possibilities expanded as part of the tumultuous rise of the
Hundred Schools of philosophy. The Eastern Zhou influenced later literature on
a mammoth scale, but particularly in the various subgenres that together comprise the Han rhapsody or fu. The fu is largely rooted in three kinds of Zhou
literature: the northern Shi jing 持程 (Poetry Classic or Book of Odes) , the
southern Chu ci 楚爵 (Songs of Ch时, and the philosophical prose writings of
Preface to "Fu on 1\vo Capitals" ("Liang du fu" 雨都赋), in 胁nXuan 文渥 (Guoxue jiben
Hong Kong: Commercial Press , 1973) 111 (herea仇er abbreviated
as WX). Cf. translation and explication by David Knechtges in ~切 Xuan, or Selections 01
R听ned Literature (Princeton u. P. , 1982-), vo l. 1, pp. 92-93.
2 Yi gai !肇概 (Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1978), ch 3: "Fu gai" 赋慨, p. 87.
congshu 圆恩基本最喜 ed. ,
both north and south. This article proposes to examine that latter chain of influence, from the prose of the Hundred Schools into the rhapsodies of the Han.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Absorption and Mingling of Confucian and Taoist Thought
It is generally acknowledged that , of all the philosophical schools, it was Confucianism and Thoism (if we define them broadly) that did the most to shape Han
culture, including the fu. This process was part of a complex interweaving of
values that gave Han culture much of its vitality. Confucianism and Taoism ,
which had begun as mutually exclusive or even antithetical modes of thought ,
mingled once they fell under the Han's unifying sway. "Action" (y ou wei 有角)
and "non-action" (wu wei 知自) no longer confronted each other, but could be
seen simply as two principles that coexisted on a continuum of legitimate approaches toward ordering the empire. Li kewise, the social choice of "being in the
world" (ru shi λ 世) could alternate with "staying out of the world" (bi shi 避
世) within one person's life plan. Han rhapsodists pondered complementary
paths of "commitment" Uin 道) and "retreat" (tui 退), as they formed principles
by which to establish themselves and live among humanity. Among these principles , "active service within the world" (ru shi, you wei λ 世有爵) took after Confucius 孔子 and Mencius 孟子; "frustrated aspiration" and "retreat from disaster"
(shi zhi, bi huo 失志避祸) drew strength from Laozi 老子 and Zhuangzi 旺子;
while "indignant concern for the trends of the age" 价n shi ji su 愤峙疾俗) was
equally Confucian and Thoist.
What propelled Confucian prose, perhaps more than any other idea , was
the concept that "the common people are the root."3 This would become the
standard by which Han rhapsodists judged the world , remonstrated with their
rulers , and advocated change. As the imperial fabric unravelled through the
Spring and Autumn era , nobles and commoners grew more polarized , with perilous implications for the power of the ruling class. New kinds of thinkers tried
to redress that polarization by insisting that the common people - automatically
and by their very nature - had to form the focus of all statecraft. "Water floats
the ship, and water makes it capsize" (shui ze zai zhou, shui ze fu zhou 水员。
载舟,水则覆舟): rulers hold sway by the grace of those they rule. 4 A ship's captain should not mistreat the sea. This powerful analogy, supposedly coined by
Confucius himself, reached into profound intellectual territory. Mencius 肝en
3 Minben sixiang 民本思想 is a modern formulation , intended to refer to a core of ideas that
are prominent in a wide variety of early texts, many of which will be referred to below. See
also Zhang Cangshou 革檐授, "Lu n Han fu di minben sixiang" 揄漠赋的民本思想 [Hanfu
and the Concept of the People as the Root] , in Shehui kexue zhanxian 祉舍科串联糠 1988.2,
Xunzi attributes this saying to "The Chronicles" or "Annals" (Zhuan 傅), presumably one
of the histories compiled by Confucius. Xunzi jijie 苟子集解 (Xinbian zhuzi jicheng 新锦
嚣子集成 e乱, 1àipei: World Press , 1978) 9/97.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
more explicitly advocated taking the people as the root: this was his basis for
hoping that rulers would make punishments sparing and t缸.es low, share the people's worries and delights , and let the tillers own their land. Xunzi 苟子, the third
major Confucian thinker, similarly advocated frugal rulers who would seek to
make the people wealthy.
Han writers inherited these theories intact, and used them in narrative fu
of persuasion or criticism that chided contemporary government. Kong Zang
孔威 (eleventh-generation descendant of Confucius , fl. 171-124 B.C.) targeted
brutal wrestling matches between bare-handed commoners and wild tigers (albeit
fangless and de-clawed) , staged at the nobles' command for their viewing pleasure:
Our present rulers waste themselves in outings and the chase,
Leaving none to care for the Nation's affairs.
Th句 force men off to wooded hills
Or into the Palace to spar with tigers
At the cost of agriculture
An d of rightful life-spans crippled and cut short.
殖民 λ 山林,格虎於其庭,
妨害最菜,瘦夭民命 5
Under a regime unjust to man and beast alike, where men were forced to live
in forests while animals performed at royal soirees , it should be small wonder
The nation's government is sure to turn chaotic
And the people to be scattered about.
圃政其必舰,民命其必散 .6
Al l because a monarch did not realize that
The greatest joy is that which he shares with the
Folk of the Hundred Names.
Yang Xiong 揭簸 (53 B.C.-A.D. 18), looking back at centuries of dynastic
rises and declines , concluded that a government interested in surviving must n町,
ture its people. The Qin empire had fallen so precipitously because its ruling
house had
"A fu to Admonish about Tiger Wrestling" ("Jian gehu fu" 藻格虎赋). Quan Han wen
(hereafter abbreviated as QHW in Yan Kejun 般可均, comp. , Quan Shanggu Sandai Qin Han San'guo Liuchao wen 金上亩三代秦漠三圈六朝文[Beijing: Zhonghua
Shuju, 1958] , hereafter abbreviated as QW) , analyzed by Gong Kechang 翼克昌 in his Han
fu yanjiu 漠赋研究 (Ji'nan: Shandong wenyi chubanshe, 19佣), pp. 150-53.
全漠文 13.4a/l94
6 lbid.
8ehaved like a gigantic boar to its officers
Or a claw-handed cougar-monster to its people.
封家其土,窦窿其民 7
But the Han was flourishing , unlike the Qin , because the Han's first emperor had
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Asked August Heaven for a mandate on the Myriad People's behalf,
Whereupon he loosed the bonds that had humbled them ,
And showered them with what th町 had lacked.
题展人之所剖,振人之所乏 F
The Emperor
Ai ds the people in Farming and
Dissuades them from indolence,
proclaimed Ya吨, in his "Fu on the Plumed Hunt" ("Yulie fu" 羽掘赋), an exhortation to let the people prosper. 9
Zhang Heng 5i衡 (78 -139) , who in his lifetime saw the Later Han begin
its slide from power into weakness , aimed a stinging warning at Luoyang's decadent aristocrats:
Princes now who exhaust the people as the price of royal delight
Forget that from those people's hatred will come bitter vengeance!
Those fond of squandrous , passionate pursuits
May overlook rebellion from below and so engender their own dismay.
好翅物以第窟,忽下叛而生噩也 10
Zhang Heng then names that rebellion as the "water" of the old proverb, the
7 "Fu on the 1à1l Poplars" ("Chang yang fu" 吴揭赋), WX 9/180; QHW 52 .1 b凡07. Cf. trans.
in David R. Knechtg筒 , The Han Rhapso伽 A Study 01 the Fu 01 Yang Hsiung (53 B.C.-A.D.
18) (Cambridge u. P. , 1976), p. 81; or in Knechtges, JJ告"n Xuan , vol. 2, p. 141. The "monster"
mentioned is the yayu 寝 il , described as resembling a red ox with horse's hoofs and a
human face (in the Shanhai jing 山海侄 or Classic 01 Mountains and Seas [Sibu beiyao
四部偏要 ed.; hereafter SBBY] 3.6a) , like a cougar with tiger c1aws (in the Erya 爵雅 [Shi­
sanjing gu zhu 十三侄古注, repr. of SBBY reduced ed. , 1àipei: Hsin 悦n Feng, 1976] 11/
18/2277), like a huge dragon's head (notes to Shanhai jing , 10.3时, or a snake with a human
face (ibid. , notes).
8 WX 9/181; QHW 52.1b/柏'7; cf. Knechtges, The Han Rhapsody, p. 82; 胁n Xuan , vo l. 2,
p. 141.
9 WX8/177; QHW5 1. 9b/406; cf. Knechtges, The Han Rhapsody, p. 72; 胁n Xuan , vo l. 2, p. 135.
10 "Fu on the Eastern Metropolis" ("Dong jing fu" 柬京赋), WX 3/71; Quan Hou Han wen
全後漠文 (hereafter abbreviated as QHHW) , in QW 53.6a-bI767. Cf. Knechtges,陆"n Xuan ,
vol. 1, p. 307.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
stuff that can either float a ship or sink it.
Some fu go so far as to present actual plans for benefitting the people, as
in the "Fu on the Imperial Park" ("Shanglin fu" 上林赋) by Sima Xiangru 司
属相如 (179-117 B.C.) , whose plan for phasing out the hunting park is presented
with details almost as fine as his descriptions of the park's lavishness in the rest
of the fu. Sima Xi angru's fictionalized , suddenly-enlightened emperor exclaims:
May this land be cleared and ploughed
Into city-girding farms to its full breadth
To support the folk and se凹ants of the state.
Tear down its walls! Level the moats, hill-dwellers and marsh-men come
Stock reservoirs and ponds , do not ban fishing
Empty the palace halls, hoard nothing in them
But loose the grainhouse gates to aid the poor,
give what they lack,
Nurture widows , sustain the orphaned and alone;
Proclaim a virtuous nam e, be spare
with punishments and fines... .
恤颜寡,存孤揭.出德锁,省刑罚… 11
All these proposals descend directly from Mencius' first chapter, "King Hui of
Liang" ("Liang Huiwang" 梁惠王), and Xunzi's chapter "On Enriching the State"
("Fuguo pian" 富圃篇). The central idea is to facilitate agriculture and make the
people rich.
Such examples, of which one could list more, should be enough to confirm
how deeply Confucian thought permeated the fu , and that it was sincere rather
than for show. These fu , intended for rulers' ears , named the people as the empire's foundation. The way in which fu writers dealt with that principle should
remind us that , in Zhou and Han China, philosophy and poetry were not as
generically distinct from each other as they would later become. Although Zhou
philosophy and Han fu are separate genres , they are indistinguishable in so many
basic areas that it would be instructive to view them as organically connected
parts of an almost unbroken writing tradition.
The fu's philosophical roots , of course, were not limited to Confucianism.
When Han rhapsodists faced personal misfortune, found their aspirations thwarted , and poured these troubles into the fu , they tended toward the cluster of ideas
that have since become known as "Taoism": broadly defined as the thought of
the Laozi and Zhuangzi , plus the lore of alchemy, immortality, and other forms
WX 8/168-69; QHW 21.6a-b/243; cf.
Xuan , vo l. 2, pp. 109-1 1.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
of physical transcendence. These ideas involved keeping disaster away, learning
to think sensibly and survive. Han fu seldom mentioned the alternative - Qu
Yuan's 屈原 path of death with purity - despite the fact that Qu Yuan、"Li
sao" 雕搔 and its associated pieces seem to have been the fu's most important
ancestors stylistically. It was Laozi and Zhuangzi who appeared more prominently in thefu , often through direct narration in the "shorter fu of personal feelings"
(shuqing xiao fu 舒情小赋), as early as 174 B.C. That was the year in which Jia
Yi 贾草 (201-169 B.C.) wrote his "Fu on the Owl" ("Funiao fu" 鹏属赋 ).12 Jia
Yi had already shown signs of striving to see b町ond Qu Yuan's solution, in his
"Elegy for Qu Yuan" ("Diao Qu Yuan wen" 吊屈原文 ).13 Now, three years later,
he took the voice of an owl , who intoned a dense fugue of Laozi and Zhuangzi
phrases quoted almost verbatim. These words from the owl addressed Jia Yi's
questions ("Why was 1 slandered? Why 创n 1 缸iled?") in the light of metaphysical ideas , such as the interdependence of fortune and misfortune or the inconstan叮 of change. The owl praised such figures as the Great Man (dàren 大人),
the Achieved Man (dáren 洼人), True Man (zhenren 真人), or Ultimate Man (zhiren 歪人, "The Man who has Arrived"): all symbols of the paths of "non-action"
(wu wei 黛角) and "retreat from disaster" (bi huo 避嗣).
Over three centuries later, Zhang Heng, who had held office for over twenty
years without achieving anything he felt meaningful , wrote "Returning to the
Fields" ("Gui tian fu" 隔田眠), a narration of the human search for a home base.
Although Zhang invokes the sages that are generally associated with Confucianism - Yao 壳, Shun 缉, Confucius himself - his ending is unmistakably LaoZhuang:
If 1 did but loose my mind beyond all worldly beings ,
What would 1 know about the ways of Glory and Disgrace?
苟候心於物外,安知祭辱之所如 14
Lo nger personal rhapsodies , as opposed to these short ones , often expanded
beyond such non-action themes into the realm of physical transcendence. They
evoked fantasy worlds that wafted above grubby reality, symbolizing what the
poet hoped could be a freer life. Feng Yan 揭衍 (fl. ca. A. D. 25) , who survived
Wang Mang's 王莽 usurpation only to be demoted and humiliated by the displeased founder of the Later Han , leaned sharply toward the Immortal arts in
his "Aspirations Revealed" ("Xian zhi fu" 黯志赋):
Virtue and the Path: why treasure them?
Status and Self - why hold those de缸?
1' 11 build a weir in the canyon , live there idly
Preserving my spirit, as 1 guard this Al oneness.
13/276; QHW 15.2a/208; trans. James R. Hightower, "Chia Yi's ‘ Owl Fu ,'" in Asia Man.s. 7.1- 2 (1959), 125 -130.
13 WX 60/1302; QHW 16.7bI218.
14 WX 15/318; QHHW 53.10aI769.
Zhuang Zhou went fishing , to reject
The offer of a Prime Minister's fame,
Much like the Master of Wuling who watered his plant patch
With a hazy resemblance to the Ultimate Ones.
Just so, in hidden privation we obtain the Way
As surely as frustration leads to the quickening by which we come
into its Ar ts... .
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
盖隔壁的而得道兮,羌痕悟而 λ 衡… 15
A strongly Th oist conclusion , praising the super-purist recluse Wulingzi 於陵子
(whom Mencius had called an earthworm - 3B: 1O), and expounding on the Arts
of the Th o. But Feng Yan's thought had more sources than Th oism alone. His
introduction to that same piece is a more catholic, almost seamless amalgam of
Confucian, Lao-Zhuang and Immortalist aspirations. He intends to live on his
farm near Chang'an, the former capital:
1 will plant my crops and practice Filial Ways ,
Manage the An cestral Shrine,饵panding its rites.
Then close my gate, speak of the Way and learn its Virtue,
Peruse the arguments of Confucius and Laozi ,
Aspire to the fortunes of Red Pine and Prince Ch'iao.
I'll mount the 1ρngban range to tramp its ridges,
Let my essence roam the Cosmos , ripple my vision
round the Eightfold Bounds
As 1 observe on all Nine Continents the body of each peak and stream ,
Gaze back upon the winds that brought gain and
loss to those early times. …
然後固 r ,言曹营道德,
上睡阪,修高罔.游精宇宙,流目 λ 舷.
暨觑九州山川之惶,追费上古得失之凰… 16
Zhang Heng's "Pondering the Mystery" ("Si xuan fu" 思主赋) embodied
this kind of search in an array of Confucian historical lore, abstract terms , and
astral bodies reminiscent of the Chu ci's fantasy journeys:
For as long as Heaven and as old as Earth , years never linger:
If you wait for the Ri ver to flow clear, you will only be dejected;
15 QHHW 20.4b/579.
may 1 find a way to voyage far for my delight
Rising , sinking inconstant to every stretch of Three Dimensions
And leap beyond - soar - gallop, break from worldly habits ,
Floating , rocking , spirit lifting , fulfilling my desires!
天 f圣地久藏不留,侠河之清袄慎壶.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
超揄腾踵皑世俗,瓢遥神攀逞所欲 17
Another striking similarity between Han fu and the philosophical schools
lies in the methods and spirit with which they criticize those "worldly habits"
。hi su 世俗) and other realities. Those methods include the following.
(1) Incisivl鸟 Undisguised Attacks against Contemporary IIIs
Mencius (379?-281? B.C.) and Han Feizi 睡赤子 (ca. 280-233 B.C.) were the
strongest muckrakers among the Hundred Schools, as th町 publicly rebuked social and governmental failings. Mencius criticized King Hui several times for ignoring human misery:
When dogs and pigs eat human food and you do not think to restrict them; when
starved corpses lie in the roads but you do not think to open the granaries; and
when people die but you say, "It is the harvest's fault , not mine" - how does this
differ from stabbing a man to death and saying , "It was the weapon's doing , not
而破之,曰,弃我也,兵也 18
Han Feizi , half a century later, wrote even more scathingly against aristocratic
decadence as well as official corruption and stupidity. This legacy of biting criticism was not forgotten in the Han; it came back into style during the Later Han's
difficult twilight. Writers of the shorter, personal fu attacked current trends with
a noble wrath whose dignified words spoke of righteousness betrayed. Especially
well remembered were those who invented fresh metaphors , such as Cai Yong
蔡邑(1 33-192): his "Tale of a Journey" ("Shu xing fu" 边行赋) mentioned the
growing gap between the rich few and the wretched multitudes. In Lu oyang, Cai
Yong found
Those high and favored , fanning their prominence to a searing heat
All guard their gains , never giving way.
When a carriage overturns not far in front ,
Chariots rush from behind to pass it by:
Pavilions and gazebos run the gamut of chic decor;
People dwell in the open air, sleep on soggy ground
17 WX 15/317; QHHW 52.5b-6aI761.
18 Mencius lA:3.
While fragrant meal is showered on birds and animals
Who leave husks and seeds , but not one grain behind.
前草覆而来 i主兮,後乘躯而窥及.
消嘉载于禽默兮,下精敬而黛粒 19
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Compare Mencius:
Fat flesh in the kitchen , sleek steeds in the stable;
citizens with hungry faces , starved corpses on the heath.
店有肥肉,剧有肥思,民有凯色,野有自我李 20
Cai Yong's contemporary Zhao Yi 趟查 (fl. ca. 178) wrote a "Fu to Attack the
Times and Rail at Evil" ("Ci shi ji xie fu" 和l 世疾邪眠). By "evil" (xie 邪) he
meant a broken , demoralized society, decadent aristocrats and nefarious politics ,
all of which were worsening:
This downslide began during Spring and Autumn times;
The Warring Kingdoms added their poison
While Qin and Han offered nothing to transcend it
But. brought their own new rancor and atrocities. …
秦漠黛以相崎越,乃更加其怨酷… 21
The rot was in the government:
As we reach our own time,
Perfidy and prejudice take ten thousand forms ,
Fawners and toadiers burn daily brighter
While the stern and tough attenuate and perish ,
Scab-suckers hitch up four-horse teams
While those of straight demeanor trudge the roads... .
The cause was clear:
Trace this sickness to its first eruption:
Verily it came when unworthy ones held power!
19 QHHW 19.3b/8S3. Dated A.D. 159.
20 He used these Ii nes twice: 1A:4 and 38:9.
21 QHHW 82.8a-b/915.
Zhao was so ashamed of his era that he declared ,
Would that 1 had hungered and shivered in the famine years
of Yao and Shun ,
But let me not eat my fill or take my warmth in these fat times!
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Such frank attacks on those in power were a direct legacy from the pre-Han philosophers.
Exaggerated Language and Subtle Barbs
The character Yanzi (based on Yan Ying 晏婴, d.5∞ B.C.) advised his ruler using
debate techniques and humor, embellished with exaggeration , devil's-advocacy,
feints and flank attacks that showered the listener with hailstorms of words. The
classic example is his "Advice When Duke Ji吨 's Favorite Horse Died and the
Duke Wished to Put the Hostlers to Death. ,, 22 Pretending to approve of the
death sentence, Yanzi asked the Duke's permission to tell the men their crimes
before they went into the dungeon , to give them a proper conviction before their
Your crimes are three! The Duke charged you to nourish the horse but you killed
it. That was your first capital crime. It was the Duke's favorite horse - that is
your second capital crime. And finally, because you have caused the Duke to have
men killed on account of a horse, the common people on hearing the news will
resent our Duke, noble lords on hearing it will demean our nation - yes, in killing
His Lordship's horse you will cause rancor against him to swell up among the folk ,
and our nation's army to be weaker than our neighbors'. That is your third crime
worthy of death, and that is why you are being sent to prison now!
Yanzi laid out the first two "crimes" with a straight face, apparently in
agreement with the Duke's wishes. But with his third charge he began to "curse
the ash while pointing at the mulberry" (zhi sang ma huai 指桑属槐): that "third
crime" was the one he hoped to prevent - the Duke's crime of murdering his
own men , and the public perils to which it would so surely lead , none of which
should be blamed on the hostlers that the Duke was so eager to punish. Needless
to say, after being stung by this cunning rebuke, the remorseful Duke reversed
his judgment - as he usually did when Yanzi advised him. 23
"Jing gong suo ai ma si , yu zhu yuren , Yanzi
Yanzi chunqiu
jian" 景公所爱思死,欲言来圈人,晏 F 藻.
jiaozhu 晏子春秋校注 (Xinbian
zhuzi jicheng ed.) 1:25/34.
Sima Qian 司属涯 (b. 145 or 135 B.C.) tells a similar story about the Jester Meng (You Meng
僵孟), who persuaded the King of Chu to bury a favorite horse not just with the trappings
of a Lo rd High Minister, but with the ceremony due to a prince. (Pretending to agree.) Or
better yet , to "embalm" the horse with herbs and spices , and "bury" it in men's bellies. (Flank
attack. The horse had been so pampered that it died of obesity, and would be considered
good eating , even in that effete court.) This story may well be a burlesque of the more passionate but less humorous Yanzi tale. See Shi ji 史记 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1975) 126/32∞.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Han narrative fu use persuasion techniques that follow Yanzi's outlines:
they might first praise the ruler to the skies, playing to his presumed psychological need to attach grand successes to his name; but then a sudden , crucial twist
of the brush brings in another voice who attacks this verbal edifice from the
flank. In such a sequence, Sima Xiangru's "Sir Vacuous" (Zi Xu 子虚), the envoy
from Chu , boasts to Qi of the vast splendor of Chu's Yunmeng Park and the
Chu monarch's hunting expeditions - grander than any hunts in history - only
to be deftly rebuffed by Master Improbable (~的Iyou xiansheng 局有先生) of Qi ,
who tells him: "You wallow in talk of indulgent pleasures, revealing their wanton
回.cess!" 奢言淫缕,而黯侈瞬 .24 Li kewise, the bulk of Yang Xiong's "Fu on the
Plumed Hunt" is given over to describing , almost surreally, the huge scale of the
Emperor Cheng's hunting parties, in what sounds like a paean to these affairs
and the grand regime that sponsors them. But when we contrast this florid swath
of verse with the equally forceful final passage in which Yang exhorts against
such spectacles, it becomes clear that he had been praising them only to make
all the more transparent what mistakes they were and how wrong the Emperor
was to indulge in them.
In a way, this is the same kind of backhanded praise that Yanzi had practiced on his Duke. But there is a difference: Yanzi and the philosophers had usually focussed their advice strictly on the subject at hand; in Yang Xio吨 's words ,
this would be "to admonish and have done with it" (feng ze yi 强剧己 ).25 But
Han rhapsodists roamed through broad vistas , lavishing riotous images upon
their listeners , to the point that Yang Xiong finally accused those writers (including himself, it is thought) of "promoting a hundred evils for each one they discourage" (quan bai er feng yi 勘百而凰一 ).26 It might seem that Han fu had descended into pointless rhetoric designed to praise and entertain rather than teach.
In some ways this may have been true. But there were reasons for such lavishness:
Han emperors were mightier beings than the Spring and Autumn Dukes had
been. Han sovereigns had more power, greater ambitions , and an accompanying
mind-set that reacted to rhetoric in ways quite different from their forebears.
Spring and Autumn rulers had to struggle just to keep their territories safe, to
say nothing of gaining advantages; government for them demanded extraordinary
care. But early Han emperors, seated at the pinnacle of a unified world, could
afford to think big and thirst for a shining name.
"Fu on Sir Vacuous" ("Zi Xu fu" -f虚赋), WX 7/158; QHW 21. 2b/241; cf. trans. in Knechtges,胁n Xuan , vo l. 2, p. 69.
25 Yangzi fa yan 揭子法言 (Xinbian zhuzi jicheng ed.) 214.
26 In many of these fu it is true that the multitude of passages that "promote" compared with
the paltry number that "discourage" suggests an atmosphere of six months of Mardi Gras
followed by a weekend of Le nt; or (as Yang Xiong went on to say) following a full program
of decadent Zheng-and-Wei music with a brief encore from the Elegantiae 猎携鳞衡之聋,
曲佟而奏雅. Yang Xiong's comments are quoted in Ban Gu's evaluation of Sima Xiangru:
Han shu 漠喜 (Beijing: Zhonghua , 1975) 57B/2609.
(3) Unabasbed Joking tbat Hides a Solemn Message
Zhuangzi's early-Han followers said that Zhuangzi had
Found this mundane realm too sunken and sullied,
Not to be conversed with in serious speech.
以天下梅沈渴,不可舆旺器 27
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
The only way he could deal with such a world was by using
Absurd , far-fetched theories , meaningless talk ,
Phrases with no ends or edges...
瑟悠之裁,荒唐之言,无端崖之带… 28
The Inner or "authentic" chapters of Zhuangzi are indeed written in just such
a tone. It seems that Zhuang Zhou 旺周 (ca. 369-ca. 286 B.C.) , finding solemn
prose rather pointless in his unruly era, filled his works with fantasies and outrageous parables that ridiculed contemporary mores and behavior. His story of the
fish caught in the rain-puddle satirized that stingy insincerity that all too often
markets itself as generosity and vision. (The fish asks the passerby for just a bit
of water right now, to keep him from drying to death; but the passerby proposes
having a canal dug that can bring torrents - once it is finished in a few years'
time.)29 Zhuangzi's questioning of Cao Shang is a merciless attack on fameseekers and money-mongers. (Cao Shang 曹高 brags about the hundred chariots
that the King of Qin gave him; Zhuangzi reminds him that the doctors who lance
the king's sores are paid one chariot , while those who suck his hemorrhoids get
five: the viler the service, the higher the pay. What service did Cao Shang perform to deserve a hundred chariots?)30 And there is his conversation with the
skull , a meditation not so much about living and dying as it is about how benighted society has become: the skull would rather stay dead and free than be
restored to a life through which he must toil hemmed in by kings above and
vassals below. 31
This approach - finding parable material in one's own experience, then
stylizing and hyperbolizing it - attracted the Han fu writers. Yang Xiol毡 's "Fu
on Expelling Poverty" ("Zhu pin fu" 逐黄赋- the title itself is an allegory)
follows Zhuangzi's example of spinning a story that takes himself as raw material. Here, Yang Xiong and Poverty have a debate. Yang Xiong lists the actual
27 From the "Under Heaven" ("Tian xia" 天下) chapter. Zhuangzi yinde 班子引得 (Harvard­
Yenching Index Series) 33/64, 65. Cf. translation in A. C. Graham , Chuang-tzu. the Inner
Chapters (Lo ndon: Allen and Unwin , 1981), p. 283. Graham dates this chapter to the ear1y
Han (p. 257).
Zhuangzi yinde 26/10; Graham , Chuang-tzu , p. 119.
Zhuangzi yinde 32/22; Graham , Chuang-tzu , p. 119.
Zhuangzj yinde 18/22; Graham, Chuang-tzu , p. 124.
problems that Poverty has brought him:
1 weed and 1 hoe
My body soaked , my skin exposed ,
Denied access to friends ,
1 advance in office only piecemeal... .
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
朋友道德,道官凌渥… 32
Despite such semi-realistic passages, this is not a realistic piece. Ra ther, it blends
sarcasm with elegance; plays off levity against solemnity in a sophisticated recreation of Zhuangzi's prose.
Zhang Heng's "Fu on the Skull" ("Dulou fu" 髓霞赋) not only borrows
Zhuangzi's style (as Yang Xiong did in "Expelling Poverty勺, and uses Zhuangzi's
phrases (as in Jia Yi's "Owl勺, but actually borrows Zhuangzi the man - or
what is left of him. Zhuangzi's own skull speaks to Zhang Heng in the same
rhythms as that earlier skull who had spoken to Zhuangzi. This new skull's
message is more universal and serene, but still views the world with anger, ennui ,
and a desire to escape it:
To die is to rest ,
Li fe is slavery and toi l.
What can winter's glass-hard waters offer
Compared to the melting of ice in spring?
As for Glory and Fame, they lie upon me
Hardly less lightly than dust or down.
And for wind-galloping , sunlight-shining
Seizing of swords and gripping of dirks Such things shamed the hermits Chao and Xu
And from them Baron Cheng escaped.
Myself all the more so - now Transformed ,
1 roam and ramble together with the Tao.
冬水之 1庚,何如春冰之消.
A vested state official such as Zhang Heng could burst into such non-conformist
sentiments only because he knew how to pour them into the mold of parable
and metaphor, speaking his mind through the words of a tradition removed from
his own time, avoiding the appearance of confrontation. And in using those
QHW S2 .4a/408.
QHHW S4.2aI7 70.
traditions , he brought both Confucianism and Taoism into the realm of high literary art.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Tra nsmission and Development of Literary Creation Theories
Based on materials that have survived , we would be wise to assume that before
the late Han there was not a strong concept of "literature" as separate from philosophy, statecraft or scholarly learning , and that therefore there was no ancient
"literary theory" as we know it or even as the ancient Greeks knew it. 34 But
there might still have been theories about the writer's craft , if not about literature
as a whole. If such theories did appear in the prose of the Hundred Schools,
however, they have since been scattered. We can trace only a few ideas about individual aspects of rhetoric or composition , such as how to frame an argument ,
put metaphors to use, or coordinate a train of thought. Meager as the material
is , one can still sense that philosophers approached these issues in ways that eventually had an enormous impact on the evolution of the fu.
The philosophers' basic premise about literary creation - at least in the
case of their own writing - seems to have been that one should write for a purpose, from a standpoint of responsible involvement with the world. To achieve
this purpose it was important to clarify the Tao. "Take strange doctrines to task ,"
Confucius advised , "For they do much harm" (Gong hu yiduan, si hai ye yi
攻乎臭端,斯害也己 ).35 In other words , writing that addressed the problems brought
on by "strange doctrines" and depraved ideas could help dispel many evils that
afflicted the state.
Poetry had its uses too. Through the Odes , Confucius said , we could awake
(xing 舆), learn to observe (guan 回), learn to join the multitude (qun 群),饵'
press resentment (yuan 怨), serve fathers and rulers , and call plants and animals
by their right names. 36 Mozi 墨子 (ca. 468-376 B.C.) , like Confucius , also considered literature as something practical and constructive:
The purpose of Rhetoric is to clarify the distinction between true and false, examine
the fabric of order and disorder; clarify where things are the same and where they
differ, investigate the principles of name and substance; maneuver among benefit
34 See Donald Holzman , "Confucius and Ancient Chinese Li terary Criticism," in Adele Austin
Rickett , ed. , Chinese Approaches 10 Lileralure from Confudω 10 Liang Ch'i-ch'ao (Princeton
U.P. , 1978), pp. 21-23.
35 Lunyu 揄器 2:16. The old question of whether gong 攻 means "attack, take to task" or
"apply oneself to study" may be unresolvable, although "attack" appears more likely. In either
case, the line as a whole makes it plain that Confucius did not approve of yiduan 臭端 . Yiduan's 侃act meaning is also open to question: although we could translate it as "heterodoxy,"
it would have been an anachronistic meaning for Confucius , in whose time there was not yet
a philosophical "orthodoxy" as we know it , certainly not a Confucian orthodoxy. Li terally,
yiduan means "other teachings" and is well rendered by Legge's "strange doctrines," which
we borrow here.
36 See Lunyu 17:9. Holzman , "Confucius ," pp. 35-36.
and harm , resolve aspersions and suspicions.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
夫静者,将以明是 Jf 之纱,春治高L 之辈己,明同臭之庭,察名寅之理,应利害,决嫌疑 37
Xunzi had similar priorities: "Analysis and Rhetoric are the mind outlining
the Tao" (bianshui ye zhe, xin zhi xiang dao ye 辨就也者,心之象道也 ).38 In
other words , if mind , speech , words and the Tao were all in accord , then names
would not distort the facts they were supposed to represent , the Hundred Philosophers (other than Xunzi) would have nowhere to hide their mistaken views , and
the world would be at rights. Granted , Xunzi states these things in a chapter
devoted to "Setting Names to Rights" ("Zheng ming" 正名); this indicates that
he may have linked writing , rhetoric and the Tao only in this context , not in general. Still it is instructive to know that he did link them.
Speech , said the Zhuangzi school , was meant to "Force the Hundred Schools'
wisdom into a corner, and leave the throng of debating mouths at a loss" (kun
baijia zhi zhi, qiong zhongkou zhi bian 困百家之知,第来口之埠 ).39 In an age
marked by continuous crises as well as new hopes , when thinkers and strategists
of all persuasions were striving to be heard , it was no accident that those thinkers
who turned to writing went straight to their purpose rather than spending time
theorizing on the art of writing , and that when they did mention the art of writing they said that writing was a form of rhetoric or debate, meant to elucidate
truth. Since pre-Qin China had such a need for rhetoric and practical philosophy,
it should not surprise us that it was the philosophical writings that survived better
than other pre-Qin texts. It should also not be surprising that those philosophical
works gave Han writers their first assumptions about literature's purpose. One
of these assumptions was that the fu was an instrument of statecraft. Most people who wrote fu seem to have agreed with this , especially in the early Han. The
fu of Mei Cheng 枚乘 (d. 140 B.C.) and Sima Xiangru are especially strong examples of verse that was used as advice from minister to ruler. Still , Mei Cheng
and Sima Xiangru seem never to have mentioned any theory that encompasses
this view of what the fu is for. Why not? Perhaps because the assumption that
the fu should serve as persuasive rhetoric was so ingrained that it needed no special mention. The earliest surviving statement on the fu's purpose comes from
Sima Qian , a generation later, describing Sima Xiangru's "Rhapsody of Sir Vacuous":
His ending brings it back to the question of moderation and restraint , with which
he makes an indirect persuasion.
Mozi yinde 嗅 f 引得 (Harvard-Yenching lndex Series) 45/ 1.
Xunzi jijie 22128 1.
39 Zhuangzi yinde 17/67. Cf. trans. by Graham , Chuang-tzu , p. 154.
40 Shi ji 117/3∞2.
By Yang Xiol毡 's time in the mid-Han , the concept of usingfu to present political
advice or parables for the ruler's ear was more developed - perhaps because
there were now other kinds of fu that had different purposes , so that distinctions
among the fu were now necessary. Yang Xiong's prefaces to some of his fu state
outright that his motives for writing a piece were "to persuade" or "to encourage." In his Model Sayings (Fa yan 法言) we read:
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Someone asked , "Can the fu be used to dissuade (jeng 强)?" He answered , "To
dissuade? If it would but stop at that! If it does not stop at dissuasion , 1 fear it
cannot avoid being used to encourage (quan 勘)!',41
the fu indeed meant persuasion , dissuasion and advice. In his later
he rejected the fu out of disillusionment , the reason seems to have
been that he saw the fu "encouraging" reprehensible behavior more effectively
than it could dissuade against it. The point for us is that , according to evidence
available, Han fu writers wrote fu as advice for their rulers and tools for statecraft in exactly the same way that the pre-Han and early-Han philosophers had
written their essays. It is indeed a real question whether fu writers and philosophers even thought of themselves as writing separate genres. Fu were a form of
rhetoric; Han rulers liked to be addressed through fu; Han literati found the fu
effective when they wished to participate in politics by advising rulers , displaying
aspirations , or defending ideas.
Theories of writing that accompanied the fu had begun with the pre-Han
philosophers but did not stop with them. Fu writers began with the concept of
the fu as political advice, but augmented that concept by seeing the fu also as
a way to praise virtue, or as a forum for personal feelings. Ban Gu , in the Later
Han , mentioned all three uses of the fu , in the preface to his "Fu on Two Capitals" ("Li ang du fu" 雨都眠). (This preface opens the Jfén Xuan , and therefore
is almost a second introduction to that collection.) Instead of seeing the fu as
prose, Ban Gu dubs it "part of the stream of the ancient Odes. ,,42 When great
ministers presented fu to their rulers ,
caree民 when
Some, by uncovering their inner feelings , used them
to convey p e r s u a s i 0 n and parable;
Others , proclaiming t he Ruler' s virtue, brought
loyalty and filiality to the full.
Fu as an expression of the writer's feelings and aspirations became a widespread
Han concept. Kong Za ng wrote about "Willows" ("Yangliu fu" 撮柳赋) "in order
to narrate these feelings" (y i xu si qing 以被斯情); Zhang Heng's "Pondering the
Yangzi fa yan 2/4. Cf. trans. by Knechtges , The Han Rhapsody, p.
See n. 1 above.
See n. 1 above.
Mystery" intends "to proclaim and transmit my feelings and aspirations" (y i
以宣寄情志). Feng Yan "wrote afu to encourage myself, and called
it 'Aspirations Revealed '" (zuo fu zi ι ming qi pian yue "Xian zhf' f乍赋自属,
命其篇曰黯志.).44 Although pre-Han prose had also expressed writers' personal
feelings at times , the conscious idea that this could be the main purpose of a
piece of written rhetoric was apparently a new concept that began with the Han
fu , and departed from the literary consciousness of earlier prose writers卢
While the early writers may not have explained broad literary themes , they
did mention techniques. The a口 of metaphor or analogy in particular - used
successfully both in pre-Han philosophical prose and in Han fu - was often
enhanced by a systematic theoretical awareness of what the various metaphorical
devices should be called , as well as how and why to use them. Mozi defined them
first: "To ‘ make an analogy' means to explain something by taking something
else as an example" (p i ye zhe, ju ta wu er yi ming zhi ye 辟也者,粤他物而以
明之也 ).46 This is the basic definition of a metaphorical device: explaining a in
terms of b. Confucius saw this as more than a verbal technique: someone who
"can draw analogies from what is close at hand" (neng jin qu pi 能近取譬, i.e. ,
include himself in his theories of how other people should behave) has learned
how to be sensitive or h u m a n e (ren 仁 ).47
The Warring-Kingdoms logician Gongsun lρngzi 公揉蘸子 took the art of
analogy even more seriously. Since it was one of his basic tools , he defined its
role with utmost rigor. When he argued that a w h i t e h 0 r s e was not a h 0 r s e,
he was "borrowing an object to make an analogy" Uia wu qu pi 假物瑕譬): this
was not a frivolous debate but a stern , even passionate attempt to combat the
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
xuanji qingzhi
44 Kong Za ng: QHW 13.4b/194. Zhang Heng: QHHW 52.l b1759. This phrase comes from the
short introduction to the piece, which might be Fan Ye's Six-dynasties interpolation: see Fan
m 范璋 (398-445) , Hou Han shu 後漠喜 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1973) 59/1914. Feng Yan:
QHHW 20.2a/578.
45 As far back as the Shang shu 向喜 [Classic of Documents or History ClassicJ , we see poetry
- perhaps the Shi jing specifically - being labelled as something that "speaks of aspirations"
。hiyan zhi 苟言志). But it does not say wh 0 s e aspirations , and apparently the idea applied
only to poems and songs , perhaps those used in the highly public environment of diplomatic
meetings or cou口 debate. The Han innovation seems to be a heightened sense that the fu ,
or even out-and-out prose (there was little metrical difference between prose and verse) , could
be intended as a vehicle for highly personal feelings. Qu Yuan , of course, had already written
a prototype of the personal-aspiration fu long before the Han , but it was Han writers who
began to label this as a theory. And Qu Yuan's "Li sao," personal and emotional as it is,
was still at heart a fu of advice addressed to a ruler. For "poetry speaking of aspirations ,"
see Gu Jiegang 顾损罔IJ , ed. , Shangshu tongjian 向重通梭 (1936; repr. Beijing: Shumu wenxian chubanshe, 1982) 02-068 1.
46 Text emended from ye wu 也物 toω wu 他物, according to suggestion by Wang Niansun
E 念 E系 (1744-1832). Pi 辟 should be understood as pi 譬. See Mozi xian'gu 墨 f 同站
(Xinbian zhuzi jicheng ed.) 45/251; Mozi yinde 45/4-5.
47 Lunyu 6:30. This line has several interpretations. The point for us is that Confucius valued
the ability to make analogies, similes or metaphors.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
sloppy mingling of facts with words that most people practiced, to society's
peril. 48 Han Feizi (ca. 280-233 B.C.) recognized that metaphor and simile were
important , but warned against their overuse, along with overuse of other rhetorical techniques: "Many words , prolix names , categorical associations and comparing of objects may well be seen as empty talk; their message might be rejected"
多言繁稽,连额比物,剧且以爵虚而焦用. 49 Such ideas about analogy and metaphor, passed down from the philosophers , were also in the front of Han fu writers' minds. When Kong Za ng saw wriggling weevils start to eat the smartweed
in his garden , he wrote, "Thereupon 1 awoke to what these creatures were doing ,
and applied their situation to that of human beings" 於是篇物在事,推况乎人 50
Kong was treating metaphor as a way to show us more clearly to ourselves. Much
later, Zhao Yi , like many writers at the ends of dynasties , found metaphor the
only tool available to say his message safely:
Afraid of being banned , 1 dared not speak in phrases plain and ordered; instead
1 humbly composed this "Rhapsody of the Cornered Bird... "
余畏禁,不敢班班额言.稿布第息赋一篇… 51
Cai Yong apparently tried to write a fu made up largely of similes, as he compared "Short People" (dwarves and midgets) to birds , ponies , larvae, etc. , with
a refrain every four lines: "lρok at the short people! This is how they are!" (g uan
duan ren xi, xing ruo si 翻短人兮,形若斯). Cai's intention was "to bring in analogies , compare with counterparts, and emerge with all their likenesses" (y in pi
bi ou, jie de xingxiang 引雪 lt 偶,皆得形象 ).52
Ma Rong 属融 (79-166) , in his "Fu on the 1ρng Flute" ("Changdi fu"
羡笛赋), uses similes , analogies , and other techniques to convey how the flute
sounds and what it means. Having "heard its sounds ," he "arranges them by
shapes" (ting sheng lei xing 黯哇黯形): the notes are s haped li ke (zhuang si
肤似) flowing streams or flying geese, clustered bees or clonish ants. 53 He also
"ranks and lists the meanings" of the flu饨's tones , to "draw parallels to their
physicallikeness" (Iun ji qi yi, xie bi qi xiang ~I命起其蠢,悔比其象). Thus the music's unbounded wandering resembles Laozi's and Zhuangzi's capacious calm; its
vigor resembles the resoluteness of the worthies Bian Sui 下随 and Mao Guang
营光, etc. 54 Ma compares sounds to events , to shapes , and to other sounds; compares the shapes of sounds to feelings and qualities; evokes the flu旬's tones
Gongsun longzi (Xinbian zhuzi jicheng ed.) 111.
Han Feizi suoyin 樨弃 f 索引 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1982) 3-1-10.
"Fu on the Smartweed Weevils" ("Liaochong fu" 董事矗赋- incomplete). QHW 13 .5 a/195.
QHHW 82.9a/916. The "Cornered Bird Fu" is incomplete, but what remains is strongly
phrased and worth reading.
52 "Fu on the Short People" ("Duanren
fu" 短人赋),
QHHW69.4b-5a/853-54. Each refrain
varies slightly from the others. The refrain quoted is the firs t.
53 WX 18/371; QHHW 18.2b/565.
54 WX 18/373; QHHW 18.3a/566.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
and their associations via the sounds , shapes and associations of his words. PreHan philosophers had not used analogy and metaphor for that kind of pure description; in this area the later-Han fu was evolving beyond them.
The writers of both the Zhuangzi and the Han fu clearly understood that
literature must grow out of broad , untrammeled trains of thought as well as a
rich imagination. This is what Sima Xiangru (or a later-Han writer claiming to
quote him) meant by saying , "A fu writer's mind encompasses the universe, as
he pulls all men and creatures into his gaze" (fujia zhi xin baokuo yuzho以 zong­
/an renwu 赋家之心苞括宇宙,穗责人物 ).55 Whether or not these are Sima Xiangru's words , the kind of fu th町 describe is the kind that he made famous. 56 One
cannot write a piece on the order of the "Imperial Park" or "Great Man" without
first freeing the imagination, extending one's thoughts to cast nets for all phenomena - past and future, celestial and mundane. One must indeed "rein in
Heaven and Earth , intermesh ancient and new" (kongyin tiandi, cuozong gujin
挫引天地,锚锻古今), as the same passage suggests. This concept shows an affinity with the Zhuangzi tradition:
Myriad beings spread out as on a net
But no place among them worth going home to.
One "comes and goes alone, along with Heaven , Earth , the Essence and the spirits" (du yu tian di jingshen wang/ai 揭舆天地精神往来 ).58 Someone who can
55 Li u
A.D. 2匀, attr. ,却fjing 研ji 西京牵挂起(Ming dynasty Lidai xiaoshi 喔代
repr. , Renren wenku 人人文摩 series , 1àipei: Commercial Press, 1979) 3.8a. "Gaze"
(Ian 霓) is often rendered as "grasp" (Ian 攫).
56 Evidence dating as far back as the 1àng indicates that the Xijing zaji may have been assembled
by Ge Hong 葛洪 in the fourth century A.D.; this would mean that most of its contents could
conceivably date from that late. Prof. Zhou Xunchu 周黝初 has examined the passage attributed to Sima Xiangru, and found that some of its vocabulary follows Jin trends rather than
Han custom: most notably in the word "universe" (yuzhou 宇宙), the Xijing 硕l' passage
treats yu as space and zhou as time, while the actual Sima Xiangru followed normal Han
usage by using yuzhou to refer only to space (in the "Shanglin fu"). Also, the Xijing 研ji
passage has a metaphysical thrust that dovetails with Jin-dynasty writings about literature,
such as the "Wen fu" 文赋 of Lu Ji 幢楼 (262-303), but not with known Han writings on
literature. See Zhou Xunchu, "Sima Xiangru fu lun zhiyi" 司属相如赋揄簧疑 [Querying
Sima Xiangru's Theory of the Ful , in Wenshizhe 文史哲 2∞ (1990.5), 20-24. Despite Prof.
Zhou's compelling argument , it still seems worthwhile to mention this Xijing 砚ji passage because of its fame; because it does convincingly describe the world evoked in Sima Xiangru's
rhapsodies; because its aesthetics apply well to Later Han fu as well as to Sima Xiangru's
fu; and because it seems logical that Han writers would have evaluated their own work from
a grandiose point of view such as this, occasionally at least, even if it were only later writers
who verbalized that viewpoint into a theory.
57 Zhuangzi yinde 33/63; cf. translation in Graham , Chuang-tzu , p. 282.
58 Zhuangzi yinde 33/65-66; cf. Graham, Chuang-tzu , p. 283.
Xin 到散 (ob.
小史 ed.;
function in such a high realm will find it
world except by using "meaningless talk ,
- the exact kind of meaninglessness that
The goal of Zhuangzi's True Man , who
impossible to speak with the ordinary
and phrases with no ends or edges"S9
was sometimes thought to mar the fu.
had mastered these arts , was
To roam above with the Maker of Beings ,
And below to make friends with those who have put themselves
outside both death and life and have no end or beginning.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Oissimilar as they may be otherwise, Zhuangzi's True Man and Sima Xiangru's
Great Man share a philosophical underpinning: transcendence over time and
space. Just as important is their authors' common approach to writing. Thoughts
that range through the universe, fired by imaginary phantasms, are bound to produce grand hyperbole and prolix rhetoric, whether the author is Zhuangzi , Sima
Xiangru , or one of their followers: the "mind of the fu writer" and that of the
Taoist philosopher thus make contact at several points. By the mid-Han , Feng
Yan was intoning such ideas in his fu , as we saw: "I'lllet my Essence roam the
Cosmos, ripple my vision round the Eightfold Bounds, as 1 observe on all Nine
Continents the body of each peak and stream... .',61 Fu of disappointed aspiration such as Feng 丽的, by their very nature, had a forebear in Zhuangzi's
though t. Zhuangzi showed the rhapsodists how to whip up a liberating , inventive
fantasy world from total nothingness, and use it to proclaim new aspirations that
transcended their wearying lives.
Artistic Heritage and Innovations
We have mentioned metaphor and fantastic description as aspects of writing that
the Han fu shared with pre-Han philosophers. They also had specific technical
pomts m common.
(1) Common Conceptual Approacb:
Coining Symbolic Names or Epitbets to Re present Ideas
Zhuangzi , and later the author of the Liezi 列子, built arguments out of fables ,
in many of which the characters' names or other aspects alone conveyed much
of the message. Liezi's "Foolish Old Man" (Yugong 愚公) and "Wise Elder"
(Zhisou 智望) symbolize the writer's rejection of "wisdom": the stupid , ignorant
Old Man has a dedication that can move a mountain range and inspire the Lo rd
of Heaven to support him; while the intelligent , learned Elder finds himself
S9 lbid.
60 Zhuangzi yinde 33/67-68;
61 QHHW 20 .l b-2a/S78.
cf. Graham ,
Chuang-tzu ,
p. 283.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
stymied by the mountains' bulk. 62 Zhuangzi told of how the Yellow Emperor
lost his Dark Pearl, and neither his officer Sagacitus (Zhi 知) nor his councillor
Disputator Cacophonius (Qiegou 噢孟) could find it. The officer who did locate
the pearl was named Amorphus Noncorporealibus (Xiangwang
象罔 ).63
Zhuangzi lets the symbolism of the names float right on the surface, without
even a trace of subtlety: "Sagacitus" represents wisdom; "Disputator Cacophonius" stands for debate, argument and rhetoric, while Amorphus Noncorporealibus is the state of "No Mind" (wu xin 簸,心), and the Dark Pearl is the Tao.
The story implies that we can retrieve the Tao only if we cast aside our minds
and cease to depend on wisdom.
Zhuangzi ofte Jl substitutes a string of anecdotes for the straight essay form.
Within many of those anecdotes he uses a further kind of indirection by having
his characters speak for him. Often the characters are archetypes and speak in
proverbs: spokesmen in his first chapter include the legendary hermits Xu You
许由 and Lianshu 建叔 .64 Han narrative fu shared this technique, as seen in
Sima Xiangru's three spokesmen Sir Vacuous (Zi xi时, Master Improbable (Wuyou xiansheng) and Lo rd No-such (Wushi gong L 是公 ).65 Zhang Heng's "Fu
on the Two Metropolises" ("Er jing fu" 二京赋) gave us Prince Groundless (Pingxu gongzi Ìi愚虚公子) and Master Where Is He (Anchu xiansheng 安虞先生 ).66
These latter allegorical names had a somewhat different purpose than those in
the Zhuangzi and other philosophers: Zhuangzi had used his nonexistent characters to encode his philosophy, while Han fu , more often than not , used them
to assure listeners that the words they were hearing were empty and "groundless."
Truth could hide safely within this bed of self-proclaimed nonsense; hints of sedition or disrespect could be ignored. The tradition survived to inspire Cao Xueqin's creation of Mr. Facts In Hiding (Zhen Shiyin 飘士晤, i.e. , zhenshi yinqu
真事睡去) and Dr. Li es N. Gossip (Jia Yucun 贾雨忖, i.e. , jiayu cunyan 假器村
言) in The Story l扩 the Stone (Shitou ji 石盟副 ).67
列子注 (Xinbian zhuzi jicheng ed.) 5/55. A. C. Graham translates as "Mr. Simple"
and "Old Wiseacre," in The Book of Lieh句u: A Classic of Tao (New York: Columbia u. P. ,
1990), pp. 99-101. The Liezi is now widely considered a fourth-century compilation. But
many of its passages date to pre-Han or early-Han times , and its fables in particular build
on long traditions. One of those traditions is the use of allegorical names.
Liezi zhu
Zhuangzi yinde 12/19.
Zhuangzi yinde 1122-34. Graham , Chuang-tzu , pp. 45-46.
65 Renditions by Knechtges,防n Xuan , vol. 2, pp. 53 -113. In the Rhapsodies of "Sir Vacuous"
("Zi Xu fu") and the "Imperial Pa rk" ("Shanglin fu勺 , WX 7, 8; QHW 21.1a-6b/241-43.
66 WX 2, 3; QHHW 52.6a-53.9aI7 61-69. Cf. Knechtges,防n Xuan , vo l. 1, p. 181.
67 Or Honglou meng 缸模萝 [Dream of the Red Chamber) , by Cao Xueqin 曹雪芹 (1715?63
1763). The puns in those names are not always apparent at first glance, but most readers grasp
them long before finishing the book ,饥ren without the numerous notes and glosses that point
out what the names mean. This novel , like the Han fu , had to present itself as meaningless
fluff in order not to seem disrespectful of authority. But , also like the fu , it comes across
as a courageous work because that same veneer of meaninglessness, for all its subtlety and
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Han fu of criticism and advice often presented their arguments through fictional spokesmen. Mei Cheng used a Visitor From Wu (Wu ke 吴客) to attack
corrupt aristocratic ways of life. 68 Instead of presenting proposals to the Emperor directly, Sima Xiangru had Lo rd No-such tell an envoy from Qi the story
of the Imperial Park , including the Emperor's reckless enjoyment of it and subsequent conversion to a life of statesmanship. Yang Xior毡 's character "Sir Ink , the
Guest" (Zi Mo keqing 于墨客卿), not Yang , is the one who blames the imperial
addiction to hunting expeditions for squandering resources and disturbing the
farmers. 69 Ban Gu、 "Host in the [current] Eastern Capital" (Dong du zhuren
柬都主人) criticizes the "Visitor from the [former] Western Capital" (Xi du bin
西都盲), in terms that sum up how Ban Gu himself disapproved of Chang'an's
ostentation and waste. 70
When we seek to understand why Han writers borrowed these fanciful personae to convey their thoughts , the simplest rationale is that by using personae ,
the writers could thoroughly criticize while remaining personally safe. This may
also have been one of Zhuangzi's rationales for clothing his train of reason in
fables and analogies. But the Han fu stretched the scale of these invented characters' performances beyond mere advice to a ruler or answers to tough questions ,
adding layers and dimensions that make the "Seven Stimuli ," "Sir Vacuous ," the
" Imperial Park ," Ba的 "Two Capitals" and Zhang's "Two Metropolises" the
sprawling masterpieces that they are.
Common Stylistic 1ì'aditions:
Bold Imaginary Landscapes and Sharply Etched Personalities
Zhuangzi's hyperfantasized world of Spirit Men, True Men and Ultimate Men
leaves his first-time readers flabbergasted. These characters show what it means
to have attained the Tao: time and space do not block them as they ramble
through infinite realms. With the Ultimate Man (zhiren 歪人),
Great fens on fire cannot heat him ,
The freezing of Rivers Huang and Han cannot cool him;
Sudden mountain-cracking thunder and sea-rocking tempests
cannot flinch him:
One such as this rides cloud-aethers , mounts the Sun and Moon
sophistication , is paper-thin to any but the most obtuse reader. In other words , the surface
silliness is there more to convey a sense of panache than to really defuse the work's dangers.
(The name Zhen Shiyin Iiterally means "Mr. Scho1ar-in-hiding Zhen ," while the phrase zhenshi yinqu means "true events are hidden away"; the name Jia Yucun means "Mr. Rainy-village
Jia," while the phrase jiayu cunyan means "false words and village ta1k. ")
68 "Seven Stimuli" ("Qi fa" 七百主), WX 341747; QHW 20.4a/237.
69 "Fu on the 1àll Pop1ars" (俨"Chang yang fu"
'an , vol. 2, p. 139.
70 "Fu on 1\vo Capita1s" ("Li ang du fu勺, esp. that on the Eastern Capita1 ("Dong du fu"); see
WX 1/15; QHHW 24.6a-9a/604- 6<汤; trans. Knechtges, Wen Xuan , vo l. 1, pp. 145 -180.
To roam outside the Four Oceans' pale.
Even Death and Birth change him not ,
How much less the extremities of Profit and Harm?
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
死生煞费於己,而况利害之端乎 71
His first chapter's breathlessly-sketched beasts and birds , ranging from
microscopic to galactic, are even better known. There is no question that Sima
Xiangru wrote his "Great Man Rhapsody" under the in f1 uence of these and other
early Zhuangzi passages. Sima's Great Man (dàren 大人), like Zhuangzi's Ultimate Man or 古ue Man , soars above the throng , roams past the world , rides
cloudy aethers into the Thunder Chamber and out through Ghoul Canyon;
survl町s the Eight Points and gazes over Four Seas. "When you read Sima Xiangru's ‘ Great Man' ," writes Wen Yiduo, "you have to realize that this is a ‘ great'
of incalculable size, a Zhuangzi size, the size of imaginary space. ,, 72
Such Zhuangzi-space also found its way into the fu of personal emotions.
The Han-dynasty portions of the Chu ci contain fantasy journeys whose inspiration comes more from Zhuangzi than from Qu Yuan , their ostensible progenitor.
A glance at the glittering , triumphant "Far Roaming" ("Yuan you" 遗避 , juan
5 of the Chu ci) , compared with the earth-haunted , garlanded , trance-like journey of Qu Yuan's "Li sao" (Chu ci 1) , shows this immediately. The fragmentary,
anonymous Han piece "Alas for that Vow!" ("Xi shi" 情誓 , Chu ci 11) , draws
from Zhuangzi as well as from the "Far Roaming." Some say that the piece's
frustrated minister was Jia Yi , who first showed the world how to vent public
indignation through private grief. He writes ,
1 climb the Az ure Heaven, thrusting high,
Cross mountain masses , farther with each day
In cool clarity 1 find my own delight ,
Absorb the myriad aethers , sail and soar... .
漉然而自集兮,吸蒙氯而蚓翔… 73
71 Zhuangzi yinde 2171-73; cf. Graham , Chuang-tzu , p. 58.
See Zheng Linchuan 鄙盹川 1 , e乱,隔'n Yiduo xiansheng lun Chu ci 罔一多先生擒楚箭
(Chongqing chubanshe, 1984), p. 66.
73 Chu ci buzhu 楚黯稽注 (SBBYed.) l 1.1b- 3a; QHW 15.3a-b/209. Cf. trans. in David Hawkes ,
The Songs of the South: An Anthology of Ancient Chinese Poems by Qu Yuan and Other
Poets (Harmondsworth: Penguin , 1985), p. 240. On whether Jia Yi was the author: Gong
Kechang, Han fu yanjiu , pp. 51-52.
Sima Xiangru's colleague Zhuang
Ji 旺忌 (2nd
century B.C.) told how
My right collar brushes the Leaning Mountain ,
The High , the 1ρW, and all Four Quarters too small
for my reckless trek!
,( i 枉拂於斗、周兮, 74 f? 不足以肆 i T:74
Another fu shows Yang Xiong exploring his Great Darkness:
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Ten thousand leagues in a flash , then 1 stop;
1 visit the Ranked Immortals as a guest for the nigh t.
忽、高 Ff!.--顿兮)品列仙以迁宿 75
The Han-rhapsody world of fantasy flying was not Qu Yuan's fleeting , glorious
but soon-burst vision , but Zhuangzi's realm of footloose spirits and Ultimate
Another stylistic trait that Han rhapsodists learned from the philosophers
was that of bold personification. Striking examples describe the effect of music.
"In ancient times ," wrote Xunzi , surely quoting an old saying , "stream-running
fish came out to listen when Hu Ba strummed the cithern; Six Royal Horses
looked up from their feed when Bo Ya played his lute" 昔者姐巴鼓瑟而流;熊、出
黠,伯牙鼓琴而 λ 思仰袜 76 Such overdrawn anthropomorphic images are common enough in folk proverbs , and it is no surprise to see them in a book that
promotes pithy wisdom. But by the time of the Liezi, these images were growing
more elaborate. In Li ezi's words , when Hu Ba played , "Birds danced and fishes
leaped" (niao wu yu yue 属舞熊醒). When Qin Qing "sang a mournful tune,
beating out the rhythm , his voice shook the forest trees , and its echoes halted
the clouds in their journey" 秦青…悔自行悲歌, 号主振林木, 警遏行 22.77When the
Beauty of Han (Han E 悻峨), forced to sing on the street for a living , finished
her song and went away, her "lingering echoes swirled about the rafter beams
for three days without ceasing. No one there realized that she had gone" 馀昔
模梁愤三日不但.左右以其人弗主. When she sang of how she had been mistreated , everyone who heard her wept so hard that they could not eat for three days
until she sang again to cheer them; whereupon the whole village leaped and
danced for joy.78
74 "La menting my Fate in These Times" ("Ai shi ming" 衷 H 革命). In Chuci buzhu 14.3b; QHW
19.3b/23 1. Cf. Hawkes, Songs of the South , p. 264.
75 From the "Fu on the Great Darkness" ("Tai xuan fu" 太玄盹), attr. to Yang Xiong: QHW
52.3b/408. Knechtges doubts it is Ya吨 's work: The Han Rhapsody, p. 117.
76 Xunzi jijie 116. Similar passages occur in Da Dai Ii ji 大戴幢缸 , Lun heng 揄衡 , Han shi
waizhuan 锦持外傅, and Huainanzi 淮南[-. "Stream-running fish" (liu yu 流熊) might be
an error for "sunken fish" (chen yu 沈焦). "1ρoked up from their feed" (y ang mo {fp袜)
might also mean "Iooked up to be fed" or "looked up and whinnied."
77 Liezi zhu 5/60; cf. trans. in Graham , Lieh-tzu , pp. 108 -109.
78 Ibid.
Han fu carried such hyperbole to new heights , as when Mei Cheng wrote
about Bo 弛's singing:
When flying birds hear him
They gather their wings and cannot take the air;
When wild beasts hear him
Th町 droop their ears and cannot walk
And when creeping crawlers , mole crickets and ants hear him
Th町 crook their mandibles , unable to advance.
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
Cai Yong wrote how a zither could make "lumbering beasts burst out dancing ,
flying birds wheel down" 走默率舞,开号属下翔 .80 Sima Xiangru , champion of
tight hyperbole, described music on the Imperial lake:
They pound upon brass drums , blow the wailing pipes ,
Boatmen sing , their threnody flowing 一
Water reptiles thrash surprised , great geese churn the waves to froth ,
G町sers erupt , colliding in their spouting panic... .
水矗E衷,波沸沸,涝泉起,奔揭舍… p
In all these passages, human and animal reactions personify the way in which
good music moves the mind. This type of writing all began when Xunzi and the
philosophers illustrated their ideas with proverbs.
Common Organizational Approaches:
Pa rallel Presentations, Cataloguing, Topically Ordered Descriptions
Narrations and descriptions in Hanfu are famous for their ranking in categories ,
each of which is taken to its limits before the next comes into vie\\. This closely
resembles the oratory of the Roving Persuaders (also known as Masters of Vertical
and Horizontal Alliances or zonghengjia 棕横家, counted among the Hundred
Schools) , as formalized in such works as the Intrigues of the Warring States
(Zhan 'guo ce 鞍圄策). The resemblance between the Intrigues and the fu has a
simple explanation: Warring Kingdoms "persuaders" and Han fu poets served
much the same function. They were all rhetoricians addressing rulers. But their
roles were not identical: old-time Persuaders such as Su Qin 蕉秦 and Zhang Yi
蛋倭 (d. 310 B.C.) had been orators exclusively, who powered their speech with
79 "Seven Stimuli," WX 341749; QHW 20.5a/238.
80 "Fu on the Zither" ("Qin fu" 琴赋), QHHW 69.5b/854.
81 "Sir Vacuous," ("Zi Xu fu勺 , WX 7/157; QHW 21.2b/241; cf.
p. 67.
Xuan , vo l. 2,
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
lavish persuasive techniques that made their points irresistible. Their listeners
were dukes and kings who were always hungry for any advice on the wisdom
of "Vertical and Horizontal Alliances." But by the Han , these orations had been
transformed into polished prose, to be studied in histories or rhetoric manuals;
Mei Che吨, Sima Xiangru , Yang Xiong and the others were not speakers but
writers , whose job was to amuse princes and emperors who were comfortably
ensconced upon their thrones. Nevertheless , Su Qin's and Zhang Yi's speeches ,
at least as preserved in the Intrigues of the U旬rring States (their books Suzi and
Zhangzi are lost) , inevitably have much in common with the fu: catalogues of
ideas or images in orderly ranks of four-character lines; lavish rhymes; bright ,
quick rhythms; thorough descriptions , multi-faceted narration; amplification and
exaggeration , richly highlighted and deeply layered; ornate phrases graced with
magnificent sounds and rare, elegant words; parallel sentences , logical construct lO ns.
In Sum
Of the philosophers and thinkers that preceded the Han , those who show the
clearest traces in Han rhapsodies seem to have been the Confucians, the Taoists ,
and to a lesser extent the Persuaders or zonghengjia. The Confucian strain shows
through in fu passages that have to do with ordering politics and managing the
state; Taoism surfaces when writers speak of hiding from the world and keeping
disaster at a distance. As for literary technique, the fu found inspiration across
the whole range of earlier and contemporary writing , not just in the poetic tradition. It is even possible to argue that the fu , as a whole, grew more directly and
deeply from philosophical writings than from the Shi jing or Chu ci. The Shi
jing is supposed to have given the fu its principles of "metaphor" (bi !t) and
"inspiration" (or "association ," xing 舆), while the Chu ci taught fu writers how
to lay out panoplies of words. These characteristics of the Shi jing and Chu ci
have a long pedigree, as does the tradition that they were the fu's true ancestors.
Both Shi and Chu ci pieces were declaimed at court functions , thus anticipating
an important use of the fu. But if we look at what is actually in the Shi jing
and Chu ci - including the time-hallowed bi and xing - almost all of those
features that found their way into the fu appear also in the philosophical writings , just as prominently as in the Shi jing and Chu ci, if not more so. And
the few literary techniques of the Han fu that were consciously mentioned as
techniques are mentioned only in the philosophical writings , not in the Chu ci
or Shi jing at al l.
According to this reasoning , then , when Ban Gu said thatγÌI belongs to
the stream of the ancient Odes" (fuzhe gu shi zhi /i u ye 赋各古持之流也), he was
overstating the case in order to emphasize a spiritual affinity - in essence, he
was c re a t i n g an ancestry for the fu. We should strive to understand his reasons
for perceiving such an ancestry; his perception becomes especially important
when we trace the fu of his own era and later. Likewise we should pay attention
Downloaded by [Florida State University] at 05:18 12 November 2017
when Li u Xizai says that "The ‘Li sao' is the ancestor of the fu": he is stating
an obvious truth , borne out by the "Li sao's" metrics , length , origins , purposes
and stature in the Han tradition. 82 But the more one looks at the actual contents of Han fu and of all the literature that came before, the less possible it
is to follow the simple old explanations that the fu came from southern Sao
poetry and northern shi poetry. The fact is , the fu as a total entity - a fusion
of metrics , rhetoric, moral stance, tone and purpose - began to a great extent
as an integral part of the prose tradition. In particular, it springs from the same
well as those works that were devoted to explaining ideas and promoting wisdom.
Ban Gu , Li u Xizai: see notes 1 and 2 above. Knechtges proposes that Ban Gu may have had
a technical precedent in mind: fu was one of six traditional "song techniques" (liu shi 六汗
。 r liu yi /,羡).胁n Xuan , vo l. 1, p. 92 , n. 1.
Без категории
Размер файла
1 697 Кб
1993, 02549948, 11731238
Пожаловаться на содержимое документа