Contemporary Chinese Aesthetics
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This book is a collection of translations of recent work by contemporary Chinese aestheticians. Because of the relative isolation of China until recently, little is known of this rich and ongoing aesthetics tradition in China. Although some of the articles are concerned with the traditional ancient Chinese theories of art and beauty, many are inspired by Western aesthetics, including Marxism, and all are involved in cross-cultural comparisons of Chinese and Western aesthetic traditions.
minutely depicted in great detail as a human figure in a painting might be, nor do they have the direct audio-visual delineation of characters in perfomling arts. When reading these novels, the visual appearances of these heroines are generally vague and unstable in the mind's eye of the reader. Sometin1es, you may feel that a certain character seems to resemble someone around you; then at other times she seems to be the exact replica of another person whom you know; and at still other moments
feelings is constant. When the mind is affected by things and reacts to them, feelings are expressed. When hoarse and pitiable sounds are heard, people feel sorrow. When the sounds heard are slow and simple, people feel content. When rough, stern and forceful sounds are heard, people feel brave and determined. When clear, even and solemn sounds are heard, people feel respectful. When soft and ham1onious sounds are heard, people feel affectionate. When loose and unrestrained sounds are heard,
"Musical Records," feelings which "rise from the effect of things" belong to the "desire of nature" or "human desire," while the "nature of Heaven," which in1plies that "men are born quiet," is within the scope of Heavenly principles. When man's nature is affected by things, it gives rise to feelings which are integral to the nature of man. The "Musical Records" not only did not object to it, but considered that it was the cause of the production of music and other arts. However, when human
"recover" man's natural "intrinsic nature" and thus return to the "freedom of antiquity," as in the case of Zhuangzi, represents the turning back of the wheel of history. It was in fact an immediate demand to eliminate private property and all civilization as well as "labor itself," and to lead a muddle-headed, ignorant animal-like existence. For what is termed man's "basic nature," "independence," "freedom" or "real existence" can only be historically given and hence specific. Natural instincts
Then gaze long at the distant southern hills. The following poem of Du Fu is another example. Glancing at the river's rushing stream, I do not think it necessary in my state of mind to vie with it, Seeing white clouds drift in the sky, I think it essential to keep leisurely company with them. Although umelated to Chan, these poems embrace certain placid and aloof sentiments, moods and states of mind to blend, touch upon or comprehend the goal of the cosmos, the significance of time, the mystery