Latent Sentiment and Evident Beauty
This term means that prose and poetry may contain latent sentiments and thoughts, as well as expressions and sentences that present an apparent sense of beauty. “Latent sentiment and evident beauty” first appeared as the title of a chapter in The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons. There, “latent sentiment” means what lies beyond events and landscapes in a narrative or a description, triggering imaginations on the part of the reader. On the other hand, “evident beauty” refers to the kind of beauty created by expressions and sentences in a piece of writing, which bring out that latent meaning. The latent and the apparent qualities are inseparable, constituting an aesthetic feature of good literary works. Later, this term developed into a rhetorical device in writing prose and poetry.
Thus, an excellent piece of writing should have both beautiful in language and a message hidden between the lines. The former refers to beautiful sentences and expressions that accentuate the message of the writing while the latter represents the multiple significance that lies beyond the text. (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)
Latency happens when feelings and thoughts are hidden between the lines of a literary work. Evident beauty occurs when messages of sentiment and feelings are vividly portrayed by the images the author creates. (Zhang Jie: Notes on Poetry Written in the Pine and Cypress Studio)