王羲之

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朗讀故事


王羲之(WANG XI ZHI)是晉朝著名的中國書法家﹐其書法風靡于世﹐ 受后人尊稱為“書聖”。他不但以革新書法聞名于世﹐而且也因為他畢生獻身于中國書法﹐建立了劃時代的功勣而流芳百世。

王羲之在公元303年生于東晉﹐在七歲時就開始學書法。 他的啟蒙老師是他的伯父和著名的女書法家衛鑠夫人。

王羲之先學正楷﹐所謂正楷﹐就是用正體的筆劃把文字寫出來。

在他年紀比較大的時候﹐他開始創立自己的風格﹐他的字自成一體﹐獨創一格。 他的行書生動活潑﹐充份表現出他的感情。他最著名的書法作品是〈〈蘭亭序〉〉。 這是他在公元353年完成的作品﹐那時候﹐王羲之邀請了四十一位親朋戚友(其中包括當代的書法家和詩人)﹐ 在鄉間的蘭亭舉行野外盛會。他們列在溪水兩旁﹐把羽觴(一種輕便的酒杯)放在水上﹐順水而下﹐每人順序取觴(SHANG)飲酒作詩。寫不出詩的人﹐都要被罰酒﹐當天有26人作詩﹐一共寫了35首。大家也都喝了不少酒。

王羲之帶著醉意﹐即席揮毫﹐為這些詩集作序﹐寫成〈〈蘭亭序〉〉。 據說﹐他在幾天後再重寫近百次﹐但是總比不上他當天即興完成的作品。

〈〈蘭亭序〉〉被譽為中國書法史上最偉大的作品﹐它的原本後來被唐太宗取去。 他很喜愛這幅作品﹐就命令朝廷最好的幾位書法家摹臨許多副本﹐原本則留下來作為自己的陪葬物。

〈〈蘭亭序〉〉的原跡雖然在公元650年失傳﹐ 但王羲之的字體後來對中國書法卻產生了重大的影響。唐太宗對蘭亭序的偏愛﹐促使更多書法家學習和摹臨王羲之的字體。

王羲之父子一生勤學書法﹐他們的專心與毅力﹐以及他們在書法上的成就﹐ 得到了世人的推崇和景仰。每當人們提到他們的名子時﹐都會聯想到他們的耐心和勤勞。

一個好的書法家不但能通過書法表達他的思想﹐ 而且他所寫出來的字也必須充滿生氣﹐活力並具備完美的形體。書法是一門藝術﹐它需清醒的頭腦以及對毛筆有全面的掌握﹐才能夠把字寫好。 這需要很多年的精心磨練才會有成就。

在童年時代﹐王羲之就對書法有濃厚的興趣﹐他在練字的時候﹐往往廢寢忘食。 據說有一次﹐他想書法入了迷﹐居然把手中拿著的麵包當毛筆﹐用來沾墨想寫字﹗ 他經常到屋外的小池塘洗毛筆﹐結果池裡的水都變黑了。

王羲之的兒子王獻之(他的第七兒子)也是很勤于練字。 他在十二歲那年﹐把一個經過父親改寫過的字拿去給母親看。他的母親也精于書法。 她一看就認出丈夫所寫的那一畫。

王獻之因此體會到自己的書法還差﹐不能與父親的相比。 他決心勤練﹐要把字練好。他找到十八口缸﹐盛滿了水﹐下定決心﹐要拿缸裡的水磨墨練字﹐不把它用完﹐絕不罷手。

王羲之當過官。他是一個心腸很好的人﹐他曾勸過同僚﹐對人要公正仁慈。 王羲之後來因為生病而辭官﹐在公元361年去世﹐享年五十八歲。 王羲之父子因為努力用功﹐成為有名的書法家﹐一直到今天﹐人們還是把他們奉為勤勞這種美德的象征。

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Copyright 1990 新加坡福建會館 SINGAPORE HOKKIEN HUAY KUAN. All rights reserved



WANG XIZHI

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Wang Xizhi is known as the Sage of Caligraphy. He is remembered not only for revolutionising the art of Chinese writing, but also for his complete devotion to this traditional Chinese art form.

Born in 303 AD in the state of Eastern Jin, Wang Xishi started learning how to write when he was seven. His first teachers were his father's elder brother and a well-known lady calligrapher, Madam Wei Shuo.

Wang Xizhi began by mastering the zheng (regular) style calligraphy. Under his school of calligraphy, the Chinese ideograms were written in symmetrical blocks. As he grew older, the calligrapher began to develop his own style of writing. Wang Xizhi's xing (walking) style of calligraphy breathed life and motion into the written words. As its name suggests, xing calligraphy is a more flowing style of writing, allowing the writer to express his feelings and his moods through the brush.

Wang Xizhi's most celebrated piece of calligraphy is Lan Ting Xu (the prelude of the Orchid Pavillion). This was written in 353 AD, When the calligrapher and a group of 41 relatives and friends were on an outing in the countryside.

The picnickers sat by the two sides of a meadering stream. Little cups of wine were then floated downstream. When a cup stopped in front of anyone, that person was required to compose a poem. Those who failed to do so were made to drink the wine as forfeit.

At the end of the day, 26 of the picnickers had to compose a total of 35 poems. Much wine had also been consumed in the process.

The good company and the strong wine put Wang Xizhi in such a happy mood that he took up his brush and, there and then, wrote the Lan Ting Xu as a prelude to the collection of poems. It is said that Wang Xizhi tried to reproduce the Prelude for nearly 100 times several days later, but he was never able to match his spontaneous calligraphy of that day.

The original Lan Ting Xu, which is considered the greatest masterpiece of Chinese calligraphy in history, was subsequently acquired by Emperor Tai Zong of the Tang dynasty. He liked it so much that he ordered his court's calligraphers to make copies of it. When he died, Wang Xizhi's calligraphy was buried with him.

Although the original Lan Ting Xu disappeared from the world in 650 AD, Wang Xizhi's style of writing continued to be a dominant influence of Chinese calligraphy. Emperor Tai Zhong's high regard for the prelude encouraged many calligraphers to imitate Wang Xizhi's writing style.

A good calligrapher is not only able to express his thoughts through his writing, he is expected to give life and form to his words. It is an art which requires a clear mind and complete control of the writing painting brush. It is an art that takes years of painstaking practice to achieve.

Even as a child, Wang Xizhi was absorbed in practising his calligraphy that he would often forget to eat. A story goes that he absent-mindedly dipped a piece of bread into the black ink, thinking that it was his brush! And a pond that was outside his house turned completely black because he used it so often to wash his brushes.

Wang Xianzhi (the seventh son of Xizhi) worked equally hard on his calligraphy. When he was 12, he showed a word which his father had corrected to his mother. The lady, who was also a calligrapher, immediately spotted the stroke that had been written by her husband.

The young boy realised that he was still very poor as compared to his father. Determined to improve his writing, the young boy filled 18 big jars with water and promised that he would not give up until he had finished using the the water to wet his ink stone!

Wang Xizhi served as a court official in his adulthood. He was a compassionate man and tried to persuade the other officials to treat the common people fairly and humanely. However, he retired because of his ill-health and died in 361 AD when he was 58. To this day he examplifies the diligence. He and his son, Wang Xianzhi, are respected for their patience and hard work.



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Copyright 1990 新加坡福建會館 SINGAPORE HOKKIEN HUAY KUAN. All rights reserved