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OneEye

Grand 文言文 Reading Project #1: 《蘭亭集序》 by 王羲之

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OneEye

So this week's passage is 《蘭亭集序》 by 王羲之 (pasted below). As mentioned in this thread, we'll be doing a new text every week or two, but of course this thread will always be open for discussion, so please don't feel like there's any time limit. Anything relevant to the text in any way is welcome. Suggestions for future texts to read should be posted in the main thread.

Here are a few pages on Wikipedia about 王羲之 Wang Xizhi. That last one is in 文言文, by the way (though I have no idea if it's any good, and haven't even read it yet). Here's another page with some of his writing.

王羲之 蘭亭集序

永和九年,歲在癸丑,暮春之初,會於會稽山陰之蘭亭,修禊事也。群賢畢至,少長咸集。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。雖無絲竹管絃之盛,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,所以游目騁懷,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;或因寄所託,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,感慨係之矣。向之所欣,俛仰之間,已為陳迹,猶不能不以之興懷。況修短隨化,終期於盡。古人云:「死生亦大矣。」豈不痛哉!

每攬昔人興感之由,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。後之攬者,亦將有感於斯文。

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OneEye

I also ought to post some info on the piece itself. Fun story about the original scroll.

English (with a translation, don't cheat!)

Chinese

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Humblegeoff

Some odds and ends of vocab for the first section

xián

ADV. all

群賢畢至[-贤毕-]

qúnxiánbìzhì

F.E. All the persons of virtue arrived.

茂林修竹

màolínxiūzhú

F.E. thick forest of trees and tall bamboos

崇山峻嶺[---岭]

chóngshānjùnlǐng

F.E. precipitous mountains

流觴曲水(古)

liú shāng qū shuǐ

The floating wine cup channel. A drinking game in which a wine cup is floated on a small body of water; wherever the cup stops, the person next to it drinks.

浮流酒杯的小水渠。流觴,將酒杯放置在環曲的水面上,任其漂流,酒杯止於何處,就由坐在其旁的人取飲。(古文觀止 • 東晉 • 王羲之 • 蘭亭集序)

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OneEye

Hofmann,

Or more accurately, someone else's copy of his handwriting, right? Thanks for posting that! It's fairly easy to read, I'd say, but I can't say whether that's because I've already read it or not. I don't know why somebody voted that post down, but I'm glad you posted it anyway. I believe we were actually planning to look at a print of that scroll when we meet next week, so thanks for putting it up here.

As an aside, your posts on 書法 here and your videos on Youtube have been extremely useful to me, even though I don't think I've participated in any of the relevant discussions. I've only just begun to study 書法 (and I can't even really say I've begun, because the class I'm taking is designed to be more for fun than anything else), but I've been reading about it for a while and you've been helpful in pointing me the right way.

jbradfor,

I refuse to look! Chinese only! Chinese only! :mrgreen:

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Hofmann

Yes, someone's copy. I'm glad you find my posts on 書法 helpful.

Perhaps you could experiment with having punctuation be revealed along with the translation instead of being included from the beginning.

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OneEye

One thing I've been wondering about is the pronunciation of 會稽. The 三民 version of 《古文觀止》 gives guì, as does as high school textbook I have (文言文40篇大探索, published by 翰林出版). However, Fuller gives kuài, and has one character of interlinear commentary: 膾. I would tend to think Fuller has a reason for putting that there and for glossing it differently. But then I would also tend to think the 三民 and 翰林 people also have their reasons. Unfortunately, for this text Fuller also deviates from his practice of listing other materials for further reading.

Fuller also glosses 歲 as referring to Jupiter. 《文言文40篇大探索》 Makes no mention of 歲, translating the phrase 「歲在癸丑」 as 「癸丑年」. The 三民 《古文觀止》 gives no commentary for this phrase, and the translation given is 「癸丑歲」, so no help there either. So, why Jupiter? Well,《古漢語常用字字典》 gives 木星 as the first gloss for 歲. And 太歲 is an archaic name for 木星. 太歲 is also, according to MDBG, the "God of the year", so I guess this is just a roundabout way of saying 「癸丑年」 after all. :lol:

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Hofmann

Well, breaking out the 廣韻 (not that it's ideal for 晉 stuff), most characters that sounds like 古外切, i.e. 儈膾鱠襘禬檜旝巜澮鄶廥䯤鬠劊會䐴獪, are kuài in Mandarin.

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