神思 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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shénsī 神思

Imaginative Contemplation

文艺创作过程中的一种精神状态,指的是作者在饱满的情感驱动下,超越时间与空间的限制,进入到自由想象或特殊的灵感状态,最后通过特定的文学艺术形象和语言而传达出来,创作出自然而美好的文艺作品。这一术语,在魏晋南北朝的文艺理论中得到广泛运用,南朝刘勰《文心雕龙》对此有专门论述。“神思”强调它是文艺创作中一种独特的心理活动,不同于其他认识活动。

The term refers to a state of mind in the process of literary and artistic creation. It suggests that the author, fully inspired by emotions, transcends the constraint of time and space, and enters into a state of free imagination or a special mood for literary and artistic creation, before producing a natural and beautiful work of literature or art, either in language or in imagery. This term was popularly used in literary and artistic theories of the Wei, Jin, and Southern and Northern dynasties. Liu Xie of the Southern Dynasties devoted one chapter especially to this term in The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons. With emphasis on the unique mental activity in literary and artistic creation, imaginative contemplation is different from other cognitive activities.

引例 Citations:

◎古人云:“形在江海之上,心存魏阙之下。”神思之谓也。文之思也,其神远矣。(刘勰《文心雕龙·神思》)

(古人说:“身在民间,心却想着朝廷。”这说的就是神思。文章写作时的想象和思绪,其神奇是可以超越时空的呀!)

An ancient saying goes, “Though he lives among the common folks, deep in his heart he concerns himself with affairs of the imperial court.” This is called imaginative contemplation. When one writes, his imaginations and thoughts may transcend time and space. (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)

◎属文之道,事出神思,感召无象,变化不穷。(萧子显《南齐书·文学传论》)

(写文章的规律,来自于神思,人对万物的感触没有形迹,变化无穷。)

The guiding principles for literary creation come from imaginative contemplation. Man’s feelings and thoughts about the external world are formless and highly changeable. (Xiao Zixian: The Book of Southern Qi)

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