On the Lyricism of Zuo Zhuan

Zuo Zhuan is the most literary historical prose of the pre-Qin period, and as the first large-scale narrative work in China, its narrative achievements have always been valued by researchers, but at the same time, we cannot ignore its lyrical elements. The lyricism of Zuo Zhuan is mainly the attitude and emotion that the writer holds when he writes about an event or a character in a certain style and tone, and he expresses his emotion through the mouths of some sages and gentlemen. The emotion in Zuo Zhuan is not direct but permeates between the lines of the text, and is expressed through the words and actions of the characters and the feasibility of the events. It uses the straightforward method of recording historical facts to reflect the rules of doing and being a human being, so that readers can experience the author’s feelings from reading. This article discusses the use of various lyrical techniques in Zuo Zhuan from the perspective of inheriting the “Spring and Autumn writing style,” commenting on the words and actions of the characters in the incident, and judging the “gentleman’s words” at the end of the incident, in order to prove that its lyricism is highlighted in the hidden places.

Zuo Zhuan

I. The inheritance of the lyricism of Zuo Zhuan from Confucius’ “Spring and Autumn Brushwork

The “Spring and Autumn Brushwork”, also known as “Spring and Autumn Calligraphy”, “Spring and Autumn Five Examples”, and “Spring and Autumn Fanxu”, refers to the use of praise and criticism in The “Spring and Autumn Brushwork”, also known as “Spring and Autumn Calligraphy”, “Spring and Autumn Five Cases” and “Spring and Autumn Ordinary Cases”, means to put praise and criticism in a twisted and concise text, rather than directly expressing one’s feelings. The “Historical Records – Confucius’ Family” said: “Confucius was in power to listen to the lawsuit, the rhetoric can have a common with others, not unique. As for the “Spring and Autumn” pen is pen, cut is cut, Zi Xia’s disciples can not praise the word. The disciples received the spring and autumn, Confucius said: ‘the future generations know Qiu to “spring and autumn”, and the guilty Qiu also to “spring and autumn”.” Du Preface to the Preface to the Spring and Autumn Zuozhuan says, “A word is praise or criticism”, and the Hanshu-Yiwenzhi also uses micro-words and great meanings. It can be seen that the “Spring and Autumn Brushwork” was one of Confucius’ methods of expressing his emotions in a subtle way. Then the Zuo Zhuan, which has an important connection with the Spring and Autumn Annals, also inherited this method in the process of expressing his emotions. The “Spring and Autumn Brushwork” is clearly manifested in Zuo Zhuan.

The first refinement of the “Spring and Autumn Brushwork” in the Zuo Zhuan was first embodied in the 14th year of Duke Cheng: “The gentleman said: The name of the Spring and Autumn is micro but obvious, will but obscure, euphonious but chaptered, exhaustive but not, punishing evil but persuading good, who can cultivate it but a sage?” A similar passage is found in the thirty-first year of Duke Zhao: “Micro but revealing, euphonious but discerning. The man above can make it clear that good people are persuaded and lascivious people are feared, so the gentleman is valued.” In the Preface to the Spring and Autumn Zuo Zhuan, Du Bei of the Western Jin Dynasty reads, “Therefore, there are three bodies of hair biography, and there are five feelings for the example. One said: ‘micro and obvious, the text is seen in this, and the starting point in the other. Called the clan, respect for its life; shed clan, respect for the wife, ‘Liang died,’ city edge of ling and so on is also. The second said ‘Zhi and obscure, about the example of the word, push to know the example, the meeting will not be the ground, and the plan said ‘and such is also. Three said: ‘euphemism and into the chapter, bending from the righteous training to show great obedience. All the taboo to open up, Bik false Xu Tian and the like is also. Four said: ‘all but not dirty, straightforward book of its events, with the text to see the meaning. Dan carved pillar, the king of heaven for the car, such as the marquis of Qi is also offered. Five said: ‘punish evil and persuade good, seek the name and death, want to cover and chapter, the book Qi Bao ‘theft, three rebels name and so on is also.”

The name of “Spring and Autumn Five Cases” was born here, and was used as the five writing styles of the book “Spring and Autumn”, namely “micro but obvious”, “Zhi but obscure”, “Wan but into the chapter The meaning of these five styles of writing is revealed in the exposition of “Zuo Zhuan”, namely, “micro but obvious”, “zhi but obscure”, “euphonious but chapter”, “exhaustive but not dirty”, and “punishing evil but persuading good”.

  1. Micro but revealed

“‘Weak but obvious means not many words but obvious meaning.” “‘When Bo Zheng killed Duan in the Yanas. Duan was not a disciple, so he did not say “disciple”; to call him “Zheng Bo” is to ridicule the failure to teach.” To call him “Zheng Bo” is to ridicule Duke Zheng Zhuang for failing to teach his younger brother, for failing to fulfill his responsibility and duty to help and teach his younger brother; to call him by the name of Gong Shu Duan is to rebuke him for being a subordinate but subordinate to his superior. To call both of them by their names instead of giving them an attribution is a fundamental negation of both of them. The 19th year of Duke Xi in the Spring and Autumn Annals: “Liang fell”. The Zuo Zhuan says: “‘Liang died without a book, and its lord took it himself. At the beginning, Liang Bo good earthwork, urgent city but not place, the people strike and not embarrassed, then said: ‘a certain invasion will come. It is ditch public palace, said: ‘Qin will attack me. The people were afraid and routed, so Qin took Liang.” The state of Liang was destroyed by Qin, and the Spring and Autumn Annals does not say “Qin destroyed Liang”, but in fact denounces that the destruction of Liang was not caused by external factors, but by the lack of virtue of the ruler, who brought about his own destruction. The Spring and Autumn Annals, 14th year of the reign of Duke Xi: “In the spring, the vassal city of Yuanling.” Zuo Zhuan (The Legend of the Left): “The vassal cities were moved to the edge of the tomb and moved to Qi. No book its people, there are also queues.” The state of Qǐ was oppressed by the neighboring countries because of its small size, and the Duke of Qi, who was the hegemon, was unable to save Qǐ, so he had to lead the vassals to move Qǐ here in the city of Yuanling. In this way, the helplessness and guilt of the Duke of Qi Huan, who was unable to save his country, are reflected to the fullest extent, and at the same time, the author’s thoughts and feelings are expressed. The above three examples of textual additions and subtractions are obvious, and their lyrical aspects are also expressed in the meaning of the words. To seize the implicit meaning of the main events to clarify one’s feelings is an inheritance of the Zuo Zhuan to the micro but obvious writing method of the Spring and Autumn Annals, which comes from the author’s emotional trust, satirizing or scolding the unkings of the rulers of the current world through the tendency of clear emotional expression, and expressing the responsibilities and obligations that should be undertaken in an implicit meaning. This is not only a hope for the rulers of the current world, but also a warning for the future generations.

Portrait of Confucius

  1. Zhi but obscure

“‘Zhi but obscure means to record historical facts and have a deep meaning.” In the thirty-first year of Duke Zhuang of the Spring and Autumn Period, “In the sixth month, the Marquis of Qi came to offer a military victory.” The “Zuo Zhuan” says: “The Marquis of Qi came to offer Rong Jie, which was not a rite. Where the lords of the four barbarians have merit, they will offer it to the king, who will warn the barbarians, but China will not, and the lords will not take prisoners.” The Zuo Zhuan can be said to be straightforward, through this example the Zuo Zhuan reads that “rites” are indispensable, and the gold content of the three words “not rites also” in the Zuo Zhuan shows the depth of its meaning, which shows that the outflow of feelings is in the word “rites”. “The word “ritual” is the only way to follow the rituals in orderly society, and no rules can make a square circle. It is conceivable that the author of the text rebuked Zihou for his “lack of manners” and “ignorance of manners”. While recording this fact, Zuo Zhuan also cites some examples to illustrate the seriousness of the situation brought about by “not observing manners”, and its profound meaning is fully revealed in the text: vassals can only offer prisoners to the king, while vassals cannot do so among themselves. The straightforwardness of Zuo Zhuan’s words reveals his feelings, and the text shows the writer’s adherence to the Zhou rites and his rebuke to the lords.

  1. Eloquent and Formative

“‘Euphemism is the expression of a twist and turn, but in a logical way.” The story of “Bik Fake Xu Tian” is found in the Spring and Autumn Annals in the year of Huan A.D.: “In the third month, Zheng Bo was invited to the pavilion, and Zheng Bo faked Xu Tian with Bik.” At that time, the land of each vassal state was given to each country by the Son of Zhou, and either the amount of land was not enough or the land was not good enough, and Zheng, out of justice, added another bik to exchange with Lu. According to the Zhou rites, Zheng and Lu could not trade with each other, so the Spring and Autumn Annals does not say exchange, but borrowing the Xu land with the biscuit as the collateral. As for what Du Bei said, “all the vassals are not to be seen”, for example, in the twenty-eighth year of Duke Xi, “the king of heaven hunted in Heyang”, Zuo Zhuan said: “It is also the meeting, the marquis of Jin summoned the king to see the vassals, and made the king hunt. Zhongni said: ‘to minister to summon the king, not to train. Therefore, the book said: ‘the king of heaven hunting in Heyang.” The “Zuo Zhuan” records this as a “meeting” and says that the Marquis of Jin summoned all the lords to Wendi in order to meet the Son of Zhou and let him come for a hunting tour. This record is just an excuse for the Son of Heaven to regain face, which implicitly implies emotion on the one hand is to respect the loyalty of the Son of Heaven, and at the same time also reveals the fact that the Son of Heaven has lost his throne of Heaven again and again.

  1. Exhaustion without defilement

The phrase “exhausted but not defiled” is also written as “exhausted but not”, “‘exhausted but not defiled, is a straightforward statement of its affairs, all its facts, no distortion.” Spring and Autumn Annals, Duke Huan’s 15th year: “The king of heaven sent my father to ask for a car.” Zuo Zhuan, “The vassal clouds: ‘The vassal does not pay tribute to the car and clothing, and the son of heaven does not ask for private wealth.” According to the Zhou rites at that time, the car and the clothes should be given to the vassals by the king of heaven, if the vassals did not use them before paying tribute to the son of heaven, but the son of heaven took the initiative to ask for them, it means that the king of heaven could not afford to maintain his own needs at this time, and it was also an impolite act, and the writer did not avoid it but stated it directly. The author’s spirit of good history is shown by the words “Jin Zhao Bo killed his ruler Yigao”, risking the risk of being killed to present the true nature of the matter. The author’s emotional attitude is fully expressed by the word “regicide”, because the minister killed the ruler, and because the Duke of Jin was not a ruler, he wrote his name directly.

  1. Punishing evil and persuading good

“The word ‘punish evil and persuade good’ means to punish evil people and encourage good people, so that the name of good people will be transmitted in the book and strategy.” Spring and Autumn Annals, Zhao Gong 20 years: “The thief killed the brother of the Marquis of Wei, tie up”. Duke Ling of Wei’s brother, Gong Mengzheng, insulted Qi Bao and deprived him of his position and fief, so Qi Bao killed him in a rebellion. The “Zuo Shi Hui Paper” says: “Qi Bao made and unrighteous, so the book is called theft; lost its name and suffer is evil, has been brave and strong name extinguished.” The “three rebels” refer to the Qi Shuqi, Qi Heiji and Ju Muyi. The Spring and Autumn Period” Zhao Gong 31: “the quarter black humerus to abuse to run”. It is reasonable that their names should not be found in the scriptures, but they are enough to make an example of them so that they will be infamous for years to come.


II. Expression of sentiment through the evaluation or discussion of the characters in the incident

In Zuo Zhuan, through the facts recorded about the characters in the incident, the reader is allowed to make his own judgment by expressing praise and criticism from the narration of the incident, either praise or criticism, thus impressing the reader and impressing the reader more powerfully, and producing better effects.

Among the Zuo Zhuan’s officials, Zi Chan of the State of Zheng is an image that the author focuses on. For example, “Zuo Zhuan” records: “There are many famous ministers in the countries, but there is no one as detailed as Zicang. Zicang is the first person in the Spring and Autumn Period, and the first person in Zuo’s heart.” (Wang Yuan 《文章练要-左传评》) It can be seen that Zicang was the standard-bearer of the noble ruler who was perfect and perfect. He was very learned, with rich knowledge of history and society, and could talk about the history of his country eloquently when dealing with the conquest of dynasties or debates of big countries; he had outstanding social activity ability, and was able to maneuver around and deal with the occasions of dynasties and alliances of various countries; he had a strong sense of political responsibility and firm will, and could argue with big countries to defend the interests of the country; he had good management talent, and could know people well, and had a set of experience in managing and employing people. He had good management skills, knew people well, and had a set of experience in managing and employing people. From the time he first expressed his views on state affairs as a young man to his death due to illness, he had “little political engagement” in his life. Although he was only the ruler of a small state, his outstanding achievements in governing the state and his political influence in the international arena were no less than those of the great ministers. The natural flow of the author’s feelings and the tone of his praise and penmanship make it a bright and vivid read, and the rendering of emotions overflows with the beauty of the spring breeze. As Liu Zhiji of the Tang Dynasty said: “The narrative of Zuo’s” is also described as a line of division is book collar full view, raucous boiling, on the preparation of fire is distinguished in the eyes, decorated steadily whole; said victory and speed is the harvest are exhausted, in the run defeat is plunder across the front; Shen alliance oath is generous surplus, said deceitful fraud is deceitful visible; talk about favor is as warm as the spring sun, discipline strict cut is as bitter as the autumn frost; narrate the rise of the state is the taste is limitless, the death of the country is bleak It is pitiable. The most important thing is that the person who has the ability to make the best use of the information is the person who has the ability to make the best use of the information. If this talent, will probably work like the creation, thinking about the ghosts and gods, writing rare, ancient and modern outstanding.”

In the process of narration, the lyrical factor has been injected into it, narration and lyricism are inseparable. The narrative process itself can also be said to be a kind of evaluation, but this evaluation is implicit, the author did not say it directly through his own tone, but in the narrative to show their own views, attitudes and positions, with the characters’ words and actions naturally presented is praise and depreciation.

The author’s emotional attitude is not only positive praise, but also negative and negative rebuke. For example, in the paragraph “Zhou and Zheng exchanged hostages” in Zuo Zhuan – The Third Year of the Duke of Yin, it shows both the decline of the ruling position of the son of Zhou and the insolence of Zheng. In the above example, the author expresses the criticism of Zheng with the help of the words of a gentleman, who said: “If the letter is not from the middle, the quality is not beneficial. Ming forgiveness and act, to be the ritual, although there is no quality, who can be between? If there is clear faith, the streams, streams, marshes, the hair, artemisia, algae dishes, baskets,, cauldrons, decorative, line scribble water, can be recommended to the ghosts and gods, can be ashamed of the king and the public, not to mention the gentleman to establish the faith of the two countries, to perform with courtesy, and how to use quality? The “wind” has “cai prosperous” “cai”, “Ya” has “line reed” “discretion”, Zhao faithful letter.” The passage “The gentleman said” is mainly a satire on the decline of the status of the son of Zhou and the criticism of the Zheng state’s lack of manners in the “Zhou-Zheng intercourse” in terms of credit and propriety. The poem “The Gentleman said” shows that the criticism is mainly directed at Zheng, which shows the value criticism and emotional orientation of the writer.

Duke Huan of Qi

Third, the lyricism is reflected by means of the evaluation at the end of things

The ideological tendencies of Zuo Zhuan are mostly revealed naturally in its rich and detailed account of events, but when this technique is not enough to express the intensity of its feelings, Zuo Zhuan embodies lyricism by means of “A gentleman says,” “A gentleman is said to be,” ” The gentleman is to know” and “Zhongni said”, and so on, to make the judgment of “ritual” and “not ritual”, from the previous From the previous “Spring and Autumn writing”, which implies praise and criticism, to the specific incident that leads to the reader’s own judgment, to the evaluation at the end of the matter, it can be said that they are interlinked, showing a relatively clear vein, and the author’s ideological tendency is also revealed.

In the twelfth year of Zuo Zhuan – Duke Huan: “The Duke wanted to pacify Song and Zheng. In the autumn, the Duke and the Duke of Song allied at the mound of Jude. The success of Song was not yet known, so they met again in the void; in winter, they met again in the turtle. The Duke of Song resigned to be pacified, so he allied with Zheng Bo at Wu-Fu. So he marshaled the division and attacked Song, war, Song no letter.”

The gentleman said: ‘If the letter does not continue, the alliance is not beneficial. The poem: ‘The gentleman repeatedly allied, chaos is with long. No letter also.”

This is mainly about the Duke of Huan’s desire to make peace with the Song and Zheng people.

In the autumn, the Duke of Huan and the Duke of Song made an alliance at the hill of Jude. Since they did not know the will of Song, they met again in a false land. The Duke of Song also really refused. So Duke Huan and Zheng Bo made an alliance at Wufu, and after the alliance, they led an army to attack Song, so that another battle took place, because Song had no credit. Then he borrows the words of a gentleman to express his opinion on this incident, that even an alliance is useless if there is no credit. It also quotes the Book of Songs to lend more weight to the fact that the junzi’s repeated alliances are the reason why turmoil breeds, which is due to the lack of credit. Through the above information we can see that the words of the gentleman are with a summary and rise to a theoretical nature of commentary, and from the brief

What we can feel from this brief commentary is the importance that the gentleman attaches to “credit”, which means that it plays an active role in the success of the alliance.

In the Zuo Zhuan, there are seventeen references to the term “gentleman”. Under the word “said” in volume 3 of Shuowen, Duan Yucai notes: “said is a person who discusses people and matters, and gets the truth”, and it is also borrowed as “said”. Zuo Zhuan (Zuo Zhuan), the eleventh year of the Duke of Yin, “the gentleman said that the Duke of Zheng Zhuang was said to have rites. The rites, by the state, set the community, order the people, the benefit of future generations. Xu, without punishment and felling, clothing and give up, degree of virtue and deal with the, measure the strength and do. Phase time and move, no tired descendants. It can be said to know the rituals”. The author’s discussion of his governance of the state, social stability, maintaining order in people’s lives, as well as his prudent and orderly handling of domestic and foreign affairs, and his observance of etiquette and law, reflects not only the affirmation of Zheng Zhuanggong’s contribution, but also the praise of his knowledge of etiquette and observance of rituals, from which his appreciation can be seen.

The author’s appreciation is thus evident.

From the above, it can be seen that the author is expressing his feelings through “the gentleman is to know” and “Zhongni said”, although he is not directly complaining or shouting, but his feelings can be known, the so-called “the gentleman said” The so-called “gentleman said”, “gentleman is to know”, “Zhongni said”, is only a means for the author to express his feelings, the author with the mouth of these virtuous people, praise and blame, distinguish between good and evil, the facts of the situation The author makes use of the mouths of these virtuous people to imply praise and criticism, to distinguish good from evil, and to make a more objective judgment of the facts. Their use is one of the wonders of Zuo Zhuan’s writing. It acts like a judge and arbitrator, mainly evaluating or commenting on a matter or a character’s words and actions. The author of Zuo Zhuan mainly comments on an event or a person’s words, actions and behavior. The author of “Zuo Zhuan” leaves room for a good or bad evaluation of a certain event or character, but he only speaks his heart through the words of a person of high moral character, which can reflect the life values of a person of high moral character and also show the life position and value judgment of the author and the reader. This is the most powerful expression of the lyrical nature of Zuo Zhuan.

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