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Please help me to check this saying.


IGING

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Please help me to check this saying.

I have read a sentence in a book as follows:

«The author [of a history book] should, as a Chinese expression says, "have the whole history in his mind".»

In a Chinese version of this book, the saying «have the whole history in his mind» is translated as 《全史在胸》.

I wonder if 《全史在胸》is a fixed Chinese expression or not, because I cannot find it in some Chinese dictionaries.

I would be very grateful if you could answer my question.

Regards

IGING

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I have never heard of 全史在胸.

If there is anything that is in one's chest it is probably 成竹在胸 ->

34. 成竹 [cheng2zhu2], phr., 胸有成竹 or 成竹在胸 definite ideas or plans to meet a situation (as concept of bamboo exists in painter's mind before painting).
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Dear Skylee

Thankyou very much for your explanation. The website you have quoted is very interesting and useful. Thanks again.

Maybe 全史在胸 is a variation of 成竹在胸 .

The original sentence «The author [of a history book] should, as a Chinese expression says, "have the whole history in his mind".» is quoted from Dr. Fung You-Lan's Preface of his A Short History of Chinese Philosophy ( 1948 ) which was translated as 《中国哲学简史》by his student 涂又光.

The expression 全史在胸 apprears in the following paragraph:

自序

小史①者,非徒巨著之节略,姓名、学派之清单也。譬犹画图,小景之中,形神自 足。非全史在胸,易克臻此。惟其如是,读其书者,乃觉择焉虽精而语焉犹详也。

Note: ① 本书英文原本出版时,中文名为《中国哲学小史》。但1933年商务印书馆曾出版著者另一本《中国哲学小史》,作为万有文库百科小丛书之一。因此著者将本书中文本定名为《中国哲学简史》。

The whole book can be found here: http://www.yifan.net/yihe/novels/fyl/fyl.html

Best regards

IGING

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Dear QUEST

Thanks a lot for your reply.

Can you explain the expression " 打官腔 " ?

Example:

他像苏格拉底,他的哲学不是用于打官腔的。(trans. by 涂又光)

Its original version is:

"Like Socrates, he did not keep office hours with his philosophy." ( Fung Yu-lan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy, 1948, p.10 )

The expression "to keep office hours with" sounds strange and I don't understand it.

Thanks a lot

Best

iging

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"Keep office hours" means academic. His point was that like Socrates, this person's practice of philosophy wasn't just academic.

The book you are referring to was originally written in English by Feng You-Lan (Fung Yu-lan). It later was translated into Chinese and is now widely read in China as a survey of Chinese philosophy.

http://www.yifan.net/yihe/novels/fyl/fyl.html

中国哲学简史 by 冯友兰

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Dear Skylee and Gato,

Thankyou for your reply.

打官腔 means "being bureaucratic" (Skylee)

"Keep office hours" means "academic" (Gato)

If so, do you think 涂又光 's translation is inadequate?

And maybe the following French translation is wrong:

"Comme Socrate, il ne prenait pas de rendez-vous officiel avec la philosophie."

( Précis d'histoire de la philosophie chinoise, trans. by Guillaume Dunstheimer, Payot, Paris 1952, p. 32 )

Best regards

Iging

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"Comme Socrate, il ne prenait pas de rendez-vous officiel avec la philosophie."

Taking official meetings? That sounds weird. I don't how it is in France, but "keep office hours" is a reference to professors' office hours (perhaps just in the U.S.).

Feng Youlan is making the point that unlike professors, Socrates took his philosophy to the streets. Socrates had the unusual habit of engaging people he met on the street in debates about philosophical issues, such as the nature of truth and so on. You can read about them in Dialogues by Plato.

涂又光's translation sounds wrong, too.

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