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China's Classic High Literature - Xiwen (1)
檄文

2 June 2011
 

Chinese civilization perhaps is the most literature-oriented in human history, but the dominant writing style in China changes over time. There is a long established observation that brilliantly summarizes the evolution of China's literature scene: "楚骚汉赋魏晋骈文唐诗宋词元曲明清小说" - which means the ode of Warrior States era, the rhymed essay of Han Dynasty, the couplet-style essay of Wei-Jin period, the parallel poetry of Tang Dynasty, the lyric verse of Song Dynasty, the lyric song of Yuan time and the novel of Ming Dynasty represent the highest literature achievement in the corresponding period respectively.

Traditionally Chinese literary critics regarded essay that devotes serious discussion to real social or life issues as a higher form of writing than poetry that articulates personal feelings, while poetry being a superior literature comparing to dramas and novels that just tell tales to entertain.

In essay writing, there is a particular style called 檄文 (xiwen), which is in the form of an open declaration of war against those deemed to have committed serious crimes against the community or the nation.

There are about half a dozen xiwens that are still frequently recited and quoted today, of which the earliest being the one penned by Chen Lin of Three Kingdoms' era, which targeted Cao Cao, a treacherous and crafty prime minister of the late Han Dynasty.

The following is the excerpt of the anti-Cao Cao xiwen:

陈琳之《讨贼檄文》:

盖闻明主图危以制变,忠臣虑难以立权。是以有非常之人,然后有非常之事;有非常之事,然后立非常之功。夫非常者,固非常人所拟也。

曩者,强秦弱主,赵高执柄,专制朝权,威福由己;时人迫胁,莫敢正言;终有望夷之败,祖宗焚灭,污辱至今,永为世鉴。

及臻吕后季年,产禄专政,内兼二军,外统梁、赵;擅断万机,决事省禁;下陵上替,海内寒心。

操又矫命称制,遣使发兵。恐边远州郡,过听给与,违众旅叛,举以丧名,为天下笑,则明哲不取也。即日幽并青冀四州并进。书到荆州,便勒现兵,与建忠将军协同声势。州郡各整义兵,罗落境界,举武扬威,并匡社稷:则非常之功于是乎著。

其得操首者,封五千户侯,赏钱五千万. 部曲偏裨将校诸吏降者,勿有所问。广宜恩信,班扬符赏,布告天下,咸使知圣朝有拘迫之难。如律令!

Another widely circulated xiwen is said from Emperor Ran Ming, that called for a resistance war against the cannibal Tartars who invaded China and ate (literally!) hundreds thousands of Chinese men, women and children.

The following is the excerpt of the anti-Tartar xiwen:

天王冉闵之《屠胡令》:

诸胡逆乱中原,已数十年,今我诛之。若能共讨者,可遣师来也。暴胡欺辱汉家数十载,杀我百姓,夺我祖庙,今特此讨伐,... 冉闵不才,受命于天道,今此诏告天下:

稽古天地初开,立华夏于中央,万里神州,风华物茂;八荒六合,威加四海,华夏大地,举德齐天。蛮地胡夷无不向往,食吾汉食,习吾汉字,从吾汉俗,此后胡夷方可定居,远离茹毛饮血,不再兽人。然今,环顾胡夷者,无不以怨报德,抢吾汉地,虐吾汉民。中原秀丽河山,本为炎黄之圣地,华夏之乐土,而今日之域中,竟是谁家之天下?!

前晋八王乱起,华夏大伤,胡夷乘乱而作,扰乱中原,屠城掠地。永兴元年,胡狗鲜卑,大掠中原,劫财无数,掳掠汉女十万,夕则奸淫,旦则烹食,千女投江,易水为之断流。羯狗之暴,以汉为“羊”,杀之为粮。永嘉四年,围猎汉民,王公忠烈射死者十余万。不日,狄虏匈奴,四面纵火,烤汉为食,死者二十余万。太兴元年,愍帝受辱,崩于匈奴。凡此种种,罄竹难书!

今之胡夷者,狼子野心,以掳掠屠戮为乐,强抢汉地为荣。而今之中原,北地沧凉,衣冠南迁,胡狄遍地,汉家子弟几欲被数屠殆尽。天地间,风云变色,草木含悲!四海有倒悬之急,家有漉血之怨,人有复仇之憾。中原危矣!大汉危矣!华夏危矣!

不才闵,一介莽夫,国仇家恨,寄于一身,是故忍辱偷生残喘于世。青天于上,顺昌逆亡,闵奉天举师,屠胡灭夷。... 闵不狂妄,自知一人之力,难扭乾坤。华夏大地,如若志同者,遣师共赴屠胡;九州各方,如有道合者,举义共赴戮狄。以挽吾汉之既倒,扶华夏之将倾。

But the most literately praised xiwen is the one created during Tang Dynasty by great essay master Luo Bingwang in a campaign aiming to throw down Wu Zetian, China's only woman emperor and one of the most sex-maniac ladies in Chinese history. The xiwen is so superbly crafted, that even Emperor Wu herself was tremendously impressed and reproached her prime minister for failing to appoint such talented man to work in her court.

The following is the anti-Woman Emperor xiwen:

骆宾王《讨武曌檄》: 

伪临朝武氏者,人非温顺,地实寒微。昔充太宗下陈,曾以更衣入侍。洎乎晚节,秽乱春宫。潜隐先帝之私,阴图后房之嬖。入门见嫉,蛾眉不肯让人;掩袖工谗,狐媚偏能惑主。践元后于翚翟,陷吾君于聚麀。加以虺蜴为心,豺狼成性。近狎邪僻,残害忠良;杀姊屠兄,弑君鸩母。人神之所共嫉,天地之所不容。犹复包藏祸心,窥窃神器。君之爱子,幽之于别宫;贼之宗盟,委之以重任。鸣呼!霍子孟之不作,朱虚侯之已亡。燕啄皇孙,知汉祚之将尽。龙漦帝后,识夏庭之遽衰。 

敬业皇唐旧臣,公侯冢子。奉先帝之成业,荷本朝之厚恩。宋微子之兴悲,良有以也;袁君山之流涕,岂徒然哉!是用气愤风云,志安社稷。因天下之失望,顺宇内之推心,爰举义旗,以清妖孽。南连百越,北尽三河,铁骑成群,玉轴相接。海陵红粟,仓储之积靡穷;江浦黄旗,匡复之功何远。班声动而北风起,剑气冲而南斗平。喑呜则山岳崩颓,叱咤则风云变色。以此制敌,何敌不摧!以此图功,何功不克! 

公等或居汉地,或叶周亲,或膺重寄于话言,或受顾命于宣室。言犹在耳,忠岂忘心!一抔之土未干,六尺之孤何托?倘能转祸为福,送往事居,共立勤王之勋,无废大君之命,凡诸爵赏,同指山河。若其眷恋穷城,徘徊歧路,坐昧先几之兆,必贻后至之诛。请看今日之域中,竟是谁家之天下!

The other famous xiwens in Chinese history include the anti-Mongol aggression war xiwens by Song Emperor and Ming Emperor, and the anti-Manchu Qing's apartheid colonial rule xiwen by the Republic Revolutionaries [Click this link to read the xiwens]

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Free to Suppress Free Expression

The White House is hunting down those who go online and post materials that reflect negatively on Obama government, the Huffington Post reports.

Jesse Lee, a member of the Obama administration’s new media department, will go after you if you paint the administration in a bad light, according to Fox News. More at Yahoo! News and fishbowlny.com.

Once again, it's time for Chinese government to catch up with the leading nation of the free world, which is free to suppress free expression.

美国政府新设立了一个媒体部,媒体部里有个结死李,结死李有个微博帐号,帐号上有电影“终结者”的图象。明白了李是干什么的了吧?李才是现实中真正的终结者:凡有敢在网上“造谣诽谤”美国政府的,李将发出檄文,号令天下追杀之。

中国政府啊,是在这方面和世界接轨的时候啦, 就从清除天厕里的茅坑屎开始吧。

I'm free to express my two faces


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