Artistic conception in ancient Chinese literature theory was mostly connected with poems, paintings,even dramas,but that with prose works was often neglected However, as a matter of fact,a truly successful prose works cannot leave the producing of artistic conception likewise.On the traditional artistic conception foundation,Chinese prose works in the 20th century created a kind of changeful,really sincere as well as bright and meaningful artistic state.This article is to deal with the thesis in next five aspects.
First,Chinese prose works in the 20th century esthetically has the obvious traditional special characteristic.In the 20th century ,Chinese prose works was a literature writing style which had the most national inheritance.Speaking of the name,"the prose works" is an extremely pure" domestic product".In no way was it,as Yu Dafu had said,a product which was from the western learning penetraing eastward.The words "the prose works" were first seen in Luo Dajing’s "He Lin Yu lu" in the Southern Song Dynasty, by way of changing of the Ming and Qing Dynasties,in "My Literature Improvement View",written by Liu Bannong,"How to Make Vernacular literature" written by Fu Sinian, the concept "prose works" was finally established.As far as the evolution is concerned,in the 20th century,poems,novels and dramas all broke their past procedure thoroughly,but the prose works of the period inherited the tradition,from the content to the form and from the technique to esthetic.Chinese traditional literature always has its explicit esthetic standard - artistic conception,which is a traditional esthetics category in literary and artistic creation and criticism,and is an artistic boundary which is in a perfect harmony subjectively and objectively.The artistic boundary in which matter is the same with person and feeling is mixed together with scene,to some certain degree,is not only a kind of matter boundary with personification but also a kind of personification with matter.It is a poetic comment about literary works from readers as well as a poetic outline of objective world from writers but also.It originates from the innermost changeful feelings world of writers and readers, and is also the unique spiritual carrier from heart to heart. In the wake of its development Chinese prose works in 20th century has formed its unique system of artistic conception t.Second, Chinese prose works in the 20th century has not deviated this leading line of artistic conception in its development.From May 4th on, the writers, named "grief and indignation",taking Lu Xun as representative,paid close attention to the relation of people and society.The artistic conception in their works were inclined to "being great". The writers,named "Simple",taking Zhou Zuoren as representative, concerned about the relation between people and themselves, and people and nature.The artistic conception in their works
were inclined to "being graceful".Chinese prose works from May 4th to 1949 was developing between the separation and unity of artistic conception as said above.First,let’s Look at the works that belong to "grief and indignation".Through extraordinarily dismal artistic conception of prose works the prose writers in 20’s showed a sanguinary times.The artistic conception of prose works in 30’s took up a ringing melody of the times,and was permeated with high saving spirit. With the victory of the war against Japan,and the outburst of the war of liberation in 40’s,the political enthusiasm of people is further,improved and the individual consciousness in prose works was finally submerged in the group ones. While grief and indignation turned into extol,the “grief and indignation” prose works,started by Lu Xun,accomplished their historic mission formally.Look at again the works that were "simple ". In the later period of May 4th,Zhou Zuo ren first regarded “wonderful prose”as spiritual ballast of himself and ideal home.He liberated prose out from the frame of“being loaded with rules”,and proposed implicit and dim "chat style",which was interlinked with appreciation of the beautiful spirit in Chinese tradition artistic conception.Lin Yutang,Liang Shiqiu thought similarly that literature did not have a class character.Emotion and wisdom contained in their short and simple literary works poured more intensive mental consciousness into artistic conception of Chinese prose in the 20 centuries, melted much broader humanity solicitude.The writers in Beijing were far away from politics,defended pure literature position, studied the method in which the ancient people built artistic conception and made poetry in prose works rich……After 40’s because of impact out of times agitation, almost all of prose writers were close to the main current.Finally the prose artistic conception,which was far away from politics, together with their writers,left the continent for Hongkong and Taiwan.Through 40’s and 50’s silence,60’s was a time when prose works revived.A batch of excellent writers,such as Yang Shuo , Qin Mu ,Liu Baiyu and others,met their golden age for prose writing.Liu Baiyu is enriching prose artistic conception with intense emotion,Qin Mu with the intellectuality,while Yang Shuo particularly developed artistic conception that was full of rules to an extreme.However,Yang Shuo made his prose full of poetic quality while his prose works partly lost particularity of prose because of works steeping into poetic boundary. "Big prose " that came into being in the new period let people find everything fresh and new but it initiated a lot of arguments about prose style of writing at the same time. When reading them we can see that emotion force, culture force and thought force are really life-source of "big prose". In fact, when we inspect “big prose” of its success and
failure, we are not difficult to find that big prose’s advantages and disadvantages have nothing to do with subject matter, nor with the concept.It is the key to judge its literature and art features whether there is artistic conception or not.
Third, the artistic conception of Chinese prose works in the 20th century had distinct objective characteristic.If there wasn’t objective phenomenon left ,the art realm with realness and nrealness,emptiness and unemptyness would not exist. Real boundary in narrative is especially so-called. Excellent prose works always show deep spirit connotation through vivid art reality. The lively and full personage (person state) , the changeable and mobile scene (affair state) ,the alternate and exchangeable environment (object state) are common types of artistic conception in prose works. These types with rich life reality and intense and aesthetic feeling affect readers’ sense and heart directly and make readers immerse into them and aftertaste endlessly.
Fourth, the artistic conception of Chinese prose works in 20th century had deep principal characteristic.If emotion is driving force in prose work,wisdom is mind and ken in it.The latter becomes bone and blood of prose only when the former motivates. Those prose works which are beautiful both in sentiments and expressions, have contained intellectuality and perceptual. They send out peculiar artistic conception by
unification in two.The perceptual knowledge of the prose’s artistic conception derives from the reality and the character of the prose. In the prose, the affective essence of the mankind is expressed as emotion of truth and emotion of kindness.It is exactly the lowing and rising of individual life,the feeling both grieved and indignant at the depravity of human society and the suffering of the teeming mass that makes the artistic conception of prose acquire pure spirit in the blending of subjectivity and objectivity.The sensibility of the prose’s artistic conception is in this way,then,what about the wisdom of the prose’s artistic conception? I think, as a basic quality of modern prose and esthetic core of Chinese literature,the prose’s artistic conception was filled with the time spirit at first. Moreover, those ordinary and petty persons,matters, and other things in life usually contained the truth of life.Maybe these conventions were not connected with greater questions such as the times, the cosmos,and so on, but it was exactly this ordinary attention that made the Chinese prose in 20 century get the far-reaching artistic conception,and magic power forever.Lastly,the writers of modern prose were good at getting into infinite time and space by limited things they wrote about.By this way they got their known philosophic knowledge and feeling of the individual,the history,the cosmos and so on.This kind of knowledge and feeling is the tallest level of the wisdom of the prose.
The fifth, the differentiation of artistic conception between the Chinese prose in 20 century and that of poem and novel.As a style that has various literary characteristics of many art categories, artistic conception of the prose, the poem, and the novel have some difference when they get coquettish. They have their own special features. Differing from the poem’s pursuit of exaggeration and imagination,the artistic conception of prose is good at expressing the emotion rhythm of internality; it expresses feeling and consciousness in a normal way; it tends to deliver simple, sincere, clear and open-minded civilian's spirit in a domestic way. Differing from the novel’s attention of objective emersion,plot,figment and imagination,the artistic conception of prose is good at using light and free language to express sth.subjectively,It control details which look loose with so-called" absolute being";it constructs pure spirit space by the art state of "thin but have flavor".The artistic conception of the Chinese prose in the 20th century was a kind of transition from the artistic conception of poem to the artistic conception of novel,and it had independent quality in the meantime.Look back at the research of Chinese prose in the 20th century,we see that the concerning focus of educational circles is basically concentrated in style theory, work theory, creating theory and appreciating theory, etc. Among them, the concerning focus is still the literary style of prose. In my opinion, the core of prose’s researching is not only a problem of literary style, it is also an aesthetic one. The development alignment of Chinese prose in new century is also decided by people’s understanding of the esthetic feature of prose. In this case, It seems to be particularly important to study the artistic conception of prose.