Author Topic: Wang Xizhi Preface to The Events at the Orchid Pavilion  (Read 2469 times)

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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Wang Xizhi Preface to The Events at the Orchid Pavilion
« on: June 28, 2016, 12:08:45 AM »
Wang Xizhi Preface to The Events at the Orchid Pavilion



http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=623

This is apparently an excerpt or version of the Wang Xizhi Preface to The Events at the Orchid Pavilion. Immortalized and still resonant more than 1690 years later. Such is the power of the pen!

I have previously dialoged with NBM regarding this preface. I am still trying to wrap my arms around it. Perhaps other insight and interpretations may help throw more light on this classical document.

http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?topic=11056.msg66468#msg66468
KeepOnTrying and Never Give Up!
That lion is also after you!

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Wang Xizhi Preface to The Events at the Orchid Pavilion
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2016, 12:49:25 AM »
It is really amazing that after so many years, to a Chinese like myself, these characters are still very recognizable. To see someone's handwriting is different from reading featureless printed text, as one can imagine the person so long ago putting every stroke on paper. I had the same feeling when visiting the Dunhuang Exhibition at the Getty Center in LA two weeks ago, where some hand written scrolls from the Muogao Grotto at Dunhuang were on display.

The original handwriting of Wang Xizhi is long lost. What we have now are copies only.

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Wang Xizhi Preface to The Events at the Orchid Pavilion
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2016, 12:45:26 PM »
Could someone help me by adding punctuation marks to the writing?

I only have six-grade education in Chinese and I recognize about 90% of the characters of this 1700 years old document.  The written language hasn't changed that much except the Simplification Scheme in the mid 20th century.  My problem in reading ancient texts is they generally have no or few punctuation marks so unless one understands the meanings of word (which can have multiple meanings), it is hard to separate them into phrases.  With the punctuation marks, I can skip over the phrases I don't understand, read ahead to next few phrases and come back to the phrase and try to understand it by context.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Wang Xizhi Preface to The Events at the Orchid Pavilion
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2016, 03:17:50 PM »
Could someone help me by adding punctuation marks to the writing?

I only have six-grade education in Chinese and I recognize about 90% of the characters of this 1700 years old document.  The written language hasn't changed that much except the Simplification Scheme in the mid 20th century.  My problem in reading ancient texts is they generally have no or few punctuation marks so unless one understands the meanings of word (which can have multiple meanings), it is hard to separate them into phrases.  With the punctuation marks, I can skip over the phrases I don't understand, read ahead to next few phrases and come back to the phrase and try to understand it by context.
Here is the Simplified Chinese version with punctuation:
https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%98%AD%E4%BA%AD%E9%9B%86%E5%BA%8F

Here is the Traditional Chinese version:
蘭亭集序
王羲之  
永和九年,歲在癸醜,暮春之初,會於會稽山陰之蘭亭,修禊事也。群賢畢至,少長鹹集。此地有崇山峻嶺,茂林修竹,又有清流激湍,映帶左右,引以為流觴曲水,列坐其次。雖無絲竹管弦之盛,一觴一詠,亦足以暢敘幽情。是日也,天朗氣清,惠風和暢。仰觀宇宙之大,俯察品類之盛,所以遊目騁懷,足以極視聽之娛,信可樂也。夫人之相與,俯仰一世。或取諸懷抱,晤言一室之內;或因寄所托,放浪形骸之外。雖趣舍萬殊,靜躁不同,當其欣於所遇,暫得於己,快然自足,不知老之將至;及其所之既倦,情隨事遷,感慨系之矣。向之所欣,俯仰之間,已為陳跡,猶不能不以之興懷,況修短隨化,終期於盡!古人雲:“死生亦大矣。”豈不痛哉!每覽昔人興感之由,若合一契,未嘗不臨文嗟悼,不能喻之於懷。固知一死生為虛誕,齊彭殤為妄作。後之視今,亦猶今之視昔,悲夫!故列敘時人,錄其所述,雖世殊事異,所以興懷,其致一也。後之覽者,亦將有感於斯文。

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Wang Xizhi Preface to The Events at the Orchid Pavilion
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2016, 09:33:31 PM »
It is still too condensed prose for me to understand fully.  Fortunately with the searchable texts there are many commentaries on Web to help me.  Thank you.

Offline dobedo

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Re: Wang Xizhi Preface to The Events at the Orchid Pavilion
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2016, 09:37:50 AM »
後之視今,亦猶今之視昔; 知老之將至,快然自足!