Saturday, November 8, 2008

中国美学: 境界 Chinese Aesthetics: Horizon of True Emotions and Scenes

1。造境与写境:这理想派和写实派得分别, 虽然事实上不易分别,因大诗人所造之境必合乎自然,所写之境必邻于理想故也。
The notion of Horizon (jing-jie), as elaborated by Wang Guowei, is one of the most important Chinese aesthetic concepts. Jing-jie is actually a Buddhist term visaya which means the scope of sense perception or the characteristic of sense experience.
On the meaning of Horizon, he said: ‘The poetic state is not limited to scenery and objects alone. Pleasure and anger, sorrow and joy are also a sort of jing-jie in men’s hearts. Therefore, those poems that describe true scenes and objects (真景物), true emotions and feelings (真感情), can be said to possess jing-jie. Otherwise, they may be said to be lack of jing-jie.’
In other words, Horizon is about true emotions and true scenes.
According to him, Horizon can be viewed from four perspectives:
1. Created or Described Horizon: This is the basis of the distinction between idealists and realists. In reality, it is not easy to differentiate them, as great art works must be both created naturally and described ideally.
2. Involved-Self or Detached Self: Horizon of an Involved-Self is a situation whereby the artist totally immerses himself personally and emotionally. This is quite similar to Lipps’ condition of empathy. In the case of a Detached-Self, the self is so deeply lost in the object that it seems to disappear.
3. Large or Small Horizon: Horizon can be large or small, but it cannot be used as a basis for determining excellence or inferiority of an art piece.
4. Veiled or Non-Veiled Horizon: The Veiled Horizon refers to a situation where one ‘views flowers through a mist’. On the other hand, Non-Veiled Horizon is achieved through the natural expression of real feelings and scenes that enable participants to attain intuitive apprehension and profound appreciation.
We can therefore conclude that Horizon or jing-jie is an ultimate measure of literary value and an ideal of artistic creation.

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