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吳梅村〈琵琶行〉新論A New Interpretation of Wu Meicun’s “Pipa xing”

2014/2015 School of Chinese Seminar





由夜聽琵琶而及明崇禎朝覆亡之痛史,〈琵琶行〉乃吳梅村「史詩」之大手筆。本講先探論梅村此詩與唐白居易同題名篇〈琵琶行〉之異同,指出梅村此詩的成就實已超過白詩。繼而剖析詩中明季史事的敘寫如何與音樂演奏、隱喻 (metaphor) 互為表裡,巧妙無比,值得仔細尋味。再從文化史的角度思索明社既屋以後,江南一帶「名園」的存在意義以及明遺民遺老的生命境況。

A New Interpretation of Wu Meicun’s “Pipa xing”

Speaker: Lawrence C.H. Yim (Research Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica; Visiting Professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, CUHK)

Date and Time: October 6, 2014 Monday; 5:30-6:45pm
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus
Language: Putonghua

Abstract: “Pipa sing”, which depicts listening to pipa music at night and then touches upon the tragic downfall of the Ming Dynasty, is an “epic” masterpiece by Wu Meicun (1609-1671), a well-acclaimed poet of late Ming/early Qing Dynasty. This talk will first compare it with the same-titled work by the Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi (772–846), arguing that Wu’s version reaches a higher aesthetic level than Bai’s. It will then analyze how the poem’s historical narrative, musical performance, and metaphors ingeniously complement each other. Finally, it will examine the meaning of the “famous gardens” in Jiangnan region, and the lives of the Ming loyalists from the perspective of cultural history.