China News Agency, Chengdu, August 11th: What kind of background does Su Dongpo's "living method" reveal about Chinese culture?

  ——Interview with Zeng Ming, Vice President of China Nationalities Association and Professor of Southwest University for Nationalities

  China News Agency reporter He Shaoqing

  In the five thousand years of Chinese civilization, there have been great poets, writers and painters as vast as the galaxy, but when Su Dongpo is mentioned, the Chinese always "smile".

In Lin Yutang's writings, Su Dongpo is an optimist with an unchangeable temperament, a sympathetic moralist, a good friend of the people of Li, a prose writer, a painter of the new school, a great calligrapher, an experimenter of winemaking, an opponent of false Taoism, and a practitioner of yoga. Cultivators are engineers, Buddhists, scholar-bureaucrats, emperor's secretaries...

  This glorious, ancient and prodigious optimist never wrote the word "living law" in his life, but why can he become the master of the "living law" theory?

What kind of "living" is Su Dongpo's "living method", and how does it reflect the background of Chinese culture?

Recently, Zeng Ming, vice president of the Chinese Society for Nationalities and a professor at Southwest University for Nationalities, accepted an exclusive interview with China News Agency "East and West Questions" to interpret this.

A summary of the interview transcript is as follows:

China News Service reporter: The theory of "living methods" is an important theoretical topic in Chinese classical poetics.

From the perspective of academic history, when and where did the poetic "living method" originate?

Zeng Ming:

The evolution of Chinese poetry is a process of breaking the rules, establishing and revising the rules, establishing traditions and constantly breaking through them.

Without the "living method" of poetics, Chinese poetry would not have changed and developed from "Book of Songs" to "Chu Ci", from Tang poetry to Song poetry and Yuanqu.

  Examining the poetic "living method" of ancient China with "transformation" as its essence and "words" as its goal, it originated from the pre-Qin Dynasty and originated from the Zhao and Song Dynasties.

As for the origin of the "living method" theory, almost all the ancients and moderns agree that it was first proposed by Lu Benzhong at the turn of the Song Dynasty.

  However, it is not unquestionable that "living law" originated from Lu Benzhong. As early as the Southern Song Dynasty, some scholars have put forward discussions on the academic origin of Lu Benzhong, such as "the biography of the Central Plains literature belongs to the Lu family alone, and the rest of the great Confucian scholars are irrelevant" ("Song and Yuan Studies"). Case" Volume 36 "Ziwei Learning Case").

Is the "living method" in Lv Benzhong also derived from the "old masters of the Central Plains"?

We believe that the "living law" theory in Lü Ben's book originates from Husu in the Northern Song Dynasty, both in terms of name and connotation.

  Hu Su's "Wen Gong Ji" Volume 5 "He He He predecessors" poem says: "There are not many children in the poem, but there are a few soulmates in the eyes." The two lines of "living methods" in this poem express Hu Su's love for At that time, the strong dissatisfaction of the poetry creation circles and the critics was decades earlier than Lu Benzhong proposed the "living method".

Coincidentally, after Hu Su, Huang Tingjian also used the brocade metaphor to write poetry.

  There are many reasons for the emergence of Hu Su's "living method" theory, including the inheritance and development of the relevant ideas of the poets of the Six Dynasties such as Xie Tu and Shen Yue, the complementary results of the prosperous Tang, the middle and late Tang, Li Bai and Du Fu, etc. Inspired by Buddhist doctrines such as "Middle Way" and Zen Buddhism, "Dan Shen live sentences, Mo Shen dead sentences", and includes the absorption of relevant views of contemporary literati.

China News Service reporter: Why did Su Dongpo become the most important link in the development of poetic "living law" theory?

Zeng Ming:

After the Song Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty, it was really difficult to open up.

Although Su Dongpo's poetry collection did not find the word "living law", we only see the word "law living" in the eighth volume of his "Dongpo Zhilin", but this does not prevent him from putting forward Hu Su's "living law" theory Expansion to the extreme, application to the extreme.

It is just as Huihong commented on Dongpo's "using things to make sentences": "The magic lies in the use of words, not the name" ("Lengzhai Night Talk" Volume 4, "Siku Quanshu" version).

In April 2016, the activity of "chanting classics, practicing etiquette, and worshiping Sansu" was held at Sansu Temple in Meishan, Sichuan.

Photo by Zhang Zhongping issued by China News Agency

  In ancient China, literati often suffered from the inability to get through poetry, ci, writing, calligraphy and painting.

It may be as stated in Cao Pi's "Dian Lun · Essays": "Writing is not one, it is rare to be good at it", and it is also like Song Deng Suyun, "Ancient prose and poetic rhythm, second-hand squares and circles are not concurrently written."

  If we look through the past and the present, we will notice that various styles often complement each other, and the opposites are unified.

For example, Yang Xiong is like "square", Sima Xiangru is like "circle"; Du Fu is like "square", Li Bai is like "circle"; Han Yu is like "square", Liu Zongyuan is like "circle"; Li Du of the Tang Dynasty is good in poetry, but in prose Failing to be both beautiful, even if they write, they are mostly written with poetry, and the text is like a poem, so they are called poets.

  On the contrary, Su Dongpo tried his best to open up the various styles of poetry and prose, and made some new or old styles more mature by taking prose as poetry, poetry as words, and fu as prose. The old body is new.

The complementarity of the square and the circle is intended to be outside the law. This is the essence of the "living law" of poetics.

  Before and after Su Dongpo's "Chibi Fu" is a representative work of "using fu as a text"-fu should rhyme, while the entire "Post Chibi Fu" almost does not rhyme; the sentence pattern of the fu is mainly four or six characters, while the "Qian Chibi Fu" The beautiful words in the middle are almost indistinguishable from prose.

Such a gift was praised at that time as "one wash for eternity".

On January 9, 2015, the cursive calligraphy: "Former Chibi Fu" exhibited at the National Art Museum of China attracted visitors.

China News Agency issued a photo by Liu Xianguo

  The proposal of "living method" has laid a theoretical foundation for the transformation of Chinese poetry from "Tang tone" to "Song tone".

And some of Su Dongpo's literary propositions, such as "encountering the enemy from all sides" and "pushing it with reason", "getting the bullet out of the hand" and "the rabbit rises and falcons fall", "unintentional writing" and "doing with purpose", "following the material" "Shape" and "moving clouds and flowing water", "taking the text as poetry" and "taking the poem as the text", "viewing things with me" and "being a family", etc., are all the best practices for "living the law".

China News Agency reporter: How to extend from the poetic "living method" to Su Dongpo's life "living method" thinking?

What kind of "living" is Su Dongpo's "living method"?

What kind of background does Su Dongpo's "living method" reveal about Chinese culture?

Zeng Ming:

If we limit the "living law" to the narrow scope of literary theory, it is a misunderstanding of the "living law".

One of the important reasons why the Song Dynasty can suddenly become the "world of extreme creation" of Chinese culture is that it is an era in which almost everyone speaks, speaks every time, and speaks every thing, so that Zhou Bi In the "Pingyuan Continuation Draft", there is a saying that "Chengzhai realizes the living method of all things".

  Today, I think it should be re-examined in a broader space and a larger traditional cultural pattern.

The "living" of "living law" has both the meaning of "flexible" and "survival". Its concept reflects the essence of dialectics to a large extent - a word for "living", or a "change" "Character.

However, its "live" and its "change" vary from person to person, time and place.

"Learning from the ancients does not obscure the ancients, and breaking the law does not violate the law." It is an accurate expression of Chinese cultural wisdom.

Tradition and modernity, old trees and new flowers, how to "live" because of "live" is an enduring proposition in the history of human culture.

  There is a saying in the Sichuan community: "The reason why life is not happy is because you have not read Su Dongpo." Su Dongpo not only integrated the "living method" into poetry, writing, poetry, painting, calligraphy and even food, but also said "living method" is natural, Incisively and vividly practiced in his happy and carefree "a misty rain and a lifetime".

  As people are familiar with, "Ask you about your achievements in your life, Huangzhou, Huizhou and Danzhou". In fact, these three states were precisely the time when Su Dongpo was most disappointed, but he openly called it "merit". Self-confidence and optimism are also the "living methods" for us Chinese to face adversity, "the tide is flat and the two sides are wide, and the wind is hanging in the air".

The statue of Su Dongpo in the Sansu Temple in Meishan City, Sichuan Province.

Photo by Zhang Zhongping issued by China News Agency

  In his whole life, Su Dongpo achieved the "reason", "the truth of things" and "the feeling of seeing things" in his actions.

Having "feelings" is what sets him apart from other physicists.

  When we pass through the thick curtain of time, it is not difficult to find that Su Dongpo has left too many cultural treasures in his life, especially his "living method" and warm poems, reading and reviewing carefully, always thinking and always new.

These are not the arrangement and combination of words, but the flowing years of life.

This may be the reason why Su Dongpo went from the Song Dynasty to today and became the background color of Chinese culture.

  If we want to ask further, what kind of "living" is Su Dongpo's "living method"?

That is: people-oriented, emotion-oriented, not principle-oriented, law-oriented.

"Emotions" live and "reasons" die, and "laws" are created by "people".

Therefore, it is the "law of death" to be based on law and principle; the "law of living" is to be based on people and emotions.


Interviewee Profile:

Photo by China News Agency reporter Zhang Lang

  Zeng Ming, second-level professor of Southwest University for Nationalities, doctoral tutor, vice president of the Chinese Ethnic Society, expert of the Chinese National Unity and Progress Association, member of the Sichuan Provincial Party Committee and Provincial Government Decision-making Advisory Committee, Sichuan Provincial Academic and Technical Leader, Sichuan Provincial Outstanding Outstanding expert who contributed, vice-chairman of Sichuan Federation of Social Sciences.

From October 2013 to April 2019, he served as the president of Southwest University for Nationalities.

His main research fields are ancient literature and literary theory, and he has presided over and completed 4 projects of the National Social Science Fund Project "Song Dynasty Poetics 'Living Method'", etc., and has published 6 monographs.

He has published more than 60 papers in such publications as "Literary Review", "Literary Heritage" and "Journal of Sichuan University", many of which have been published by "Xinhua Digest", "Chinese Social Science Digest", "Reprinted Newspaper Materials of Renmin University of China", "University Arts Academic Digest" "Excerpts, reprints, and full text reprints.

He has successively won 6 provincial and ministerial first prizes and 5 second prizes.