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马年说“马”From the horse's mouth, literally

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Thispainting,oneofGiuseppeCastiglione'sAfghanFourSteeds,featuresahorsenamedChaoni'er.CastiglionewasanItalianmissionary.

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Theerawhenpeopledependedonsteedsfortransportationorwarfarehaslonggone,butthezodiacanimalhasleftnumerousgeneticfootprintsonspokenChinese,writesRaymondZhou.

YaoShaoshuanghasbeenthemostphotographedhorseriderinChinainthepastmonth.Donningacowboyhatandbootsforthreedays,herodeablackhorsefromhisworkplaceinPixiantothecityofDujiangyan,wherehismother-in-lawlives,afterfailingtosecureabusticketforSpringFestivaltravel.(ThecountyandcitylietothenorthwestofChengdu,theprovincialcapital.)HisimageappearedallovertheInternet,andYaosaidhereceivedhundredsofcalls,includinginterviewrequests,fromthemedia.Apartfromhisinabilitytoobtainaticket,Yaosaidhemadehistriponhorsebackashewaseagertoreachhisdestinationandtoimpresshisin-lawsonhisfirstvisittohiswife'sfamily.

InChinese,thereisacommonword,mashang,literallyonhorsebackandmeansrightawayorfast.Itwasclearlynotcoinedaftermodernmodesoftransportationwereinvented.Buttheironyin24-year-oldYao'scaseisthathecoveredthe70kminthreedays,slowerthanmosthikers.

Thetruth,whenitemerged,provedtobeananti-climax.YaoworksforanequestrianclubandthehorsehewasridingwasaDutchWarmblood(ahorseo fmediumbuilddesignedforsports)fromtheNetherlandsworthhalfamillionyuan($82,000).

Normally,suchanexpensiveimportwouldnotappearonahard,asphaltroad,butthismayalsoexplaintheultra-slowspeed,completewithnumerousphotoopportunities.

Moreover,thejourneywasapublicitystunt,notforhimselfbutforabusiness.

Yao,alocalequestriansportschampion,keptquiet.However,otherclubssaidtheyhadreceivedrequestsfromadvertiserswhowantedtogetinonthehorsebackbandwagon,butownerscouldnotbeartoseetheircostlyinvestmentsstrayfarfromsoftgrassandwell-maintainedstables.SomeevenviewedYao'sactionsasanimalabuse.

Goodhumor

Thefadforplacingobjectsonhorsebackinthehopeoffulfillingfinancialdreamsstartedratherinnocuouslyandingoodhumor,butquicklytransformedintomaterialisticvulgarity.

Blessingsandgoodwisheswerequicklyreplacedbyhardcash,suchasplacingawadofbanknotesonhorseback.Sincerealhorsesprovedhardtocomeby,enlargedtoyhorseswereused.Peopleevenpiledminiaturehousesonthehorsesinadesperatebidforthefinancialwherewithaltopurchaseapartments.

Oneman,withatouchofingenuity,reportedlyplacedapairoftoyelephantsontopofatoyhorse,becausetheChinesewordfordatehasxianginit,whichcanbestretchedtoencompasstheelephant.

Ifyouletasmallerhorsepiggybackonalargerone,itcouldmeanthattheobjectofyourdesireisaBMW,astheGermancarhasavagueChinesetransliterationasprecioushorse.

Wordgamesinvolvingthehorseappearfrivolous,butoftenhaveculturalandhistoricalconnotations.Chineseliketodescribebeingvictimizedbyforeigninvasionasbeingtroddenunderironhooves.

InChinesehistory,theeconomicallydevelopedandculturallysophisticatedHanmajorityonthecentralplainswererepeatedlyattackedandpillagedbynortherntribes.

Partofthereason,manyscholarsbelieve,wasthemodeoftravelusedbythenomads.Whiletheyswoopeddowninaniron-hoofedstampede,theHancouldonlyfleeonfoot.Hence,thevividdepictionofbeingtrampled.

Celebratedstallions

TheHanwerenotasexpertathorseridingasthenortherntribes,buthorseswerenotuncommon.Itwasrare,though,forthemtobeveneratedliketheSixSteedsoftheZhaolingMausoleuminShaanxiprovince.

ThesewarhorsesbelongedtoEmperorTaizong(AD598-649),alsoknownasLiShimin,oftheTangDynasty(AD618-907).HecommissionedartisanYanLideandpainterYanLiben,whowerebrothers,tocarvesixwarhorsesherodebeforehebuilthisempire.Thereliefs,eachstanding1.7metershighand2meterswide,usedtoflankthesacrificialaltartothenorthofthemausoleum.

Thesteedshavepoeticnamesthatmostlydenotetheirmarkings.Fourofthemwerehitbyarrowsandtheemperorleftmemorialtributestoeachofthemalongwithrecordsofthemilitarycampaignsinwhichtheycarriedhimorinwhichtheyfell.

Thecarvingswerebrokenapartearlyinthe20thcenturyandtwoofthemweresmuggledoutofChina.TheyarenowhousedinamuseumattheUniversityofPennsylvania,whilethoseremaininginChinaareinamuseuminXi'an,theShaanxiprovincialcapital.

Byaestheticstandardsoftheday,theywerequiterealistic.Horsesmadefrequentappearancesinancientscrollpaintings,butmostwerestaticandinconspicuous,actingasloyalcompanionstoreclusivescholarsorofficialsseekingsanctuaryinnature.

Unlikeancientartistsobsessedwithsaddledhorses,XuBeihong(1895-1953)preferredferalandwildones.TrainedinFrance,theChinesemasterstudiedequineanatomy,spendinghoursobservinghorses'movementsandexpressions.EspeciallyfondofMongolianbreeds,heleftatreasuretroveofupto1,000sketches.

Xu'sportrayalsofhorsesgallopingortrottingpast,inarichvarietyofposes,aresomeofthemostcaptivatingoftheirkind.Usingmostlyblackink,theycombinethebestmethodsfromEastandWest.Thelinesandbrushstrokesaresimple,yetinvariablyevoketheessenceoftheanimals.

TheyareacontrasttothehorsespaintedbyGiuseppeCastiglione(1688-1766),anItalianmissionarywhocreatedmanyeight-horseimagesfortheQingemperors.InfullcolorandresemblingtraditionalEuropeanoilpaintings,theywere,however,closerinspirittotheChinesestyleofdepictinghorses.TherewasnothingoftheenergyandexhilarationfoundinXu'sdrawings.

Differentemphasis

WhilethetaleofPegasusisnotwidelyknowninChina,flyinghorseisbynomeansastrangeterm.Severalbrandsarenamedafterit,mostnotablyacigarettewithalonghistory.

ItistruethatChinamaypaleincomparisonwiththeWestincreatingtalkinghorsesorweepinghorsesinartandliterature,withmostofourhorse-relatedprominencebeinginourvocabulary.

Butbeforewegettothat,I'llpointtothedifferentemphasis,orratherEast-Westfocus,ondifferentaspectsofthehorse.Forexample,mostEnglishwordsforhorsedefinetheanimalbyageandgender,suchascoltforamalehorseundertheageof4,fillyforafemalehorselessthan4yearsold,mareforafemaleaged4orolder,yearlingforonebetween1and2yearsold,andfoalforoneyoungerthanayearold.Geldingandstalliondenotecastrationornon-castration.

Incontrast,mostChinesedescriptionsforthehorseconcerncolors.Biao(骠)isyellow;liu(骝)isredwithblackmaneandtail;yan(骃)isgrayish;li(骊)isblack;guo(騧)isyellowwithblackmouth;qi(骐)ispurplishblack;hua(骅)isredlikethefruitdate;xing(骍)isanotherkindofred;cong(骢)isblue;zhui(骓)isblackwithwhitefeet;andmang(駹)isblackwithwhiteface.Ju(驹)andji(骥)refertoyoungandoldhorses,butnothowyoungorhowold,whilejun(骏)andnu(驽)arenamesforfastandslowones.

Wehavemorenamesfordifferenthorsesthantherearezodiacanimals,butmostofthemappeartohavebeeninspiredbythecolorspectrum.

WeChinesealsohaveanequivalentforthetermprincecharmingthathasawhiffofthefairytaleaboutit.Itisprinceonawhitehorseo rwhite-horseprince.

Butastudyofthecolorsofhorses'coatsmademerealizetheinherentironyinthisDisney-likephrase:Withrareexceptions,ahorseturnsgrayorwhiteasitages,andisusuallybornwithadarkershade.Ifyouarenotsure,checktheskinunderneathawhitehorse'scoat.

So,associatingaprincewithmortalityisnotreallythebestwaytopresenthisyouthfulcharm.However,sincemostofusarenotequineveterinarians,wecanbeexcusedforenvisioningthismostdesirablecompanionforfemalesinthecolorofpurityandforgetaboutoldage.

Linguisticrecord

TheChineseattitudetowardthezodiacanimalof2014isembeddedinaprofusionofexpressionshandeddownandenrichedthroughcenturiesofman-horsedynamics.

Apartfromservingasasymbolofloyaltyandbraveryformilitaryheroes,thehorseisoftenpraisedforitsendurance,asillustratedintheproverbialthousand-milehorse.

Perhapsthebestanalogyforman'srelationshipwiththehorseconcernsBole,awisemanwithaneyeforthenextthousand-milehorse.Here,thehumanbeingisthetalentscout,manipulatorandtrainer,whilethehorseistobeobservedforpotential,andgroomed.Amentor-protegeparallelisquiteobvious.

Assuch,thehorsemayalsobecometherecipientoftiger-mom-styleChinesetoughlove,asinthephraseAhorsehastobewhippedtorun.

ButancientChinesetendedtoidentifywiththeanimalsocloselythatwhentheytalkedabouttheirhorsestheycouldbetalkingaboutthemselves.ToerrishumanhasaChineseequivalent:Manmaymakemistakesandahorsemaymissastep.

Chineseingeneralhaveaweaknessforpattingahorseo nthebutt,afriendlygesturethathassinceevolvedtomeansycophancy.Whenyoumissabeatandenduppattingitontheleg,youhavefailedintheunctuousactofflatteringsomeone.

Inthesesayings,thehorseisnolongerman'sservantorapprentice,butanobjectofappreciationandpower.ThiskindofdualityisalsopresentinthetraditionalChineseperspectiveonentertainers.

Whiletheman-horsepowerdependencemaychangewithdifferentsituations,thehorsereignssupremeintheequinehierarchy.

ThedonkeyandthemuleusuallyappearassidekicksorfoilsinChinesefolktalestomakethehorseappearasmagnificentasthesuperheroinaHollywoodfantasyfilm.Abouttheonlytimethehorseisovershadowedisbytheappearanceofthecamel,whichissomuchbiggerthat,accordingtoChineselore,eventhethinnestoneisstilllargerthanthehorse.Butthen,thecamelhasneverbeencreditedasaconqueroroftheworld.

ThereisnodoubtthatChinese,ancientormodern,lovethehorse.Butthosewhotakema(horse)astheirsurnamecannotprovetheyareanydifferentfromtherestofus.

Asithappens,ChineseMuslimstookthesoundforMuhammadandsinicizedittoma,hencethelargestfamilynameinthisethnicgroup.Also,Chineserarelyusethewordinanylastnameforitsliteralmeaning,otherwisewang(orwonginCantonese,meaningking)wouldbethemostcovetedofall.

Butevenakingoremperorcouldenhancehisregalstaturewhileposingonahorse.

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当然马匹用于交通和战争di年月yi去不复返le,可shi,与十二生肖中di“马”相关di语句zai中国言语中留下le印迹。

曩昔diyige月中,“马上哥”姚少双di照片频仍出往常各年夜媒体上。春运买不到车票后,姚少双戴上牛仔帽、蹬上靴子,骑着yi匹黑马从工作di郫县到都江堰市去参见岳母。这趟行程历时3天。(郫县和都江堰市zai四川省会成都di西北部。)姚少双zai收集上火le,他说自己收到le近千ge电话,媒体di电话采访ye包含zai内。姚少双说,除le买不到车票这ge启事外,自己骑马还因为想要早点到目didi,第yi次访谒岳母,要留ge好印象。

汉语中youyige常见词语叫“马上”,字面意义shi“zai马背上”,yeyou“马上”和“很快”di意义。这ge词语当然不shi依据现代di交通运输体例衍生出来di。可shi,这ge词语关于24岁di姚少双而言,颇具嘲讽意味le。姚少双用le3天时间走le70千米di路途,这比徒步走还慢。

当秘闻浮出水面di时分,令人年夜跌眼镜。姚少双为yige马术俱乐部效能,他骑di马shi荷兰温血马(yi种体型中dengdi体育竞技马)价值50万元。

通俗来讲,这么贵di进口马不会出往常硬硬di柏油马路上。可shi,这ye诠释le为啥这匹马走路速度奇慢,给他人供给le那么多di摄影机缘。

此外,此次骑马行为纯属作秀,姚少双不shi要自己出风头,而shi为le商业炒作。

关于这些,姚少双这位当didi马术冠军不予回应。可shi,其他di马术俱乐部ye收到le广告商di邀约。广告商们想要用“马上”这ge词做噱头。可shi,马术俱乐部拒绝le,因为他们不愿意看到这么昂贵di马分隔软软di草di和维护精采di马厩,走zai硬梆梆di柏油路上。you些人看leyou关姚少双di报道后,觉得他shizai优待动物。

诙谐

人们ba工具放zai马背上,暗示对完成经济幻想di但愿。这种习尚zai初流行di时分shiyi种诙谐默示体例,没you什么欠好di。可shi,这件事很快就变得粗鄙起来le。

夸姣di祝福很快被物质愿望所庖代。好比,you人bayi团伪钞放zai马背上,暗示马上you钱。因为真实di马匹很少见,人们用填充di玩具马替代真实di马。you人以至ba微型di房子堆zai马背上,孔殷但愿能够经济余裕、马上买房。

风闻,you人很you创意dibayi对玩具年夜象放zaile玩具马di背上。因为zai汉语中,“对象”yi词you“象”字zai里面。这样以来,往马背上放di工具di规模延长到le年夜象。

假如你bayige小di马宝宝放zaiyi匹年夜马上,这意味者你想要具youyi辆宝马汽车。因为,德国出产di汽车BMWzai中文中di音译shi“宝马”。

关于马di文字游戏看起来很没意义,可shi它通俗you文化、历史内zai。中国人zai描绘遭到外国侵略时,喜欢用到“铁蹄之下”这ge短语。

zai中国历史上,经济文化前进前辈di汉族生齿占年夜年夜都,寓居zai华夏di域。他们经常遭到北方游牧平易近族di虏掠。

学者们觉得,汉族受游牧平易近族侵扰di部门启事zai于游牧平易近族di勾当体例。当游牧平易近族骑着铁蹄马南袭di时分,汉族人只能徒步逃窜。因而,“铁蹄之下”很活跃di描绘le游牧平易近族对汉族di辚轹。

名马

汉族不如北方游牧平易近族那样善长骑马,可shi,他们di马却非同平常。马很少像陕西省di昭陵六骏那样遭到人们di推崇。

这六匹战马shi唐朝(公元618-907)皇帝唐太宗(公元598-649)李世平易近di坐骑。他呼吁工艺家阎树德和画家阎立本兄弟二人砥砺出他建唐朝前骑过di六匹战马。昭陵六骏位于昭陵北面di祭坛两侧,每块石刻高约1.7米,宽约2米。

战马di名字很you诗意,年夜部门马shi依据马身上di花纹命名di。you四匹马zai战争中中箭。为le留念战马,李世平易近给每匹马写le墓志铭,上面记实着哪场战争用di哪匹马、zai哪场战争马死le。

zai20世纪早期,昭陵六骏di砥砺被朋分开来,you两ge走私到le国外,现珍藏zai美国宾夕法尼亚年夜学博物馆。剩下di保管zai陕西省省会西安di博物馆。

从当今di审美水平来看,马di形象很传神。马di形象经常出往常古代di卷轴画上。可shi,良多马都shi静态di,与画面不谐和:它们或shi忠厚di陪同着隐居di学者,或shi忠厚di守候着隐居田场di官员。

古代di艺术家热衷于画被战胜di马,画家徐悲鸿(1895-1953)却对画野马情you独钟。这位国画巨匠zai法国进修时代进修le马di剖解,他破耗年夜量di时间察看马di震态和神色。他十分喜欢画蒙古马,为后世留下le1000副素描绘画珍品。

徐悲鸿画di马,youdi飞驰,youdi小跑,形态万千,十分you魅力。他画di马多shi黑色,分手le中西方绘画手法,线条和笔画简单,可shi每幅画所画di震物却都十分传神。

徐悲鸿di画与意年夜利传教士郎世宁(GiuseppeCastiglione)(1688-1766)为清朝皇帝绘画di八骏图作风悬殊。这幅画shi全彩di,代表le欧洲油画di作风,与中国画画马di作风神似,但没you徐悲鸿di画中展示di能量与欢喜空气。

着重分歧

或许很少you中国人知道希腊神话中关于飞马珀加索斯(Pegasus)di故事。可shi,人们“飞马”这ge词汇并不目生。yi些牌子以“飞马”命名,其中you名di要数老牌子di飞马卷烟le。

西方di文学和艺术作品中you会措辞di马和流泪di马。zai中国,与马相关di多di要数言语词汇le。这样yi来,就马而言,中国di文艺作品要比西方di苍白得多。

可shi,zai谈及此之前,自己将会指明中西方着重di分歧di址。换句话说,ye就shi中西方强调马中心面分歧。例如,年夜部门英语词汇shi依据春秋和性别来界说“马”di。好比,小马指dishi4岁以下di公马;小母马指dishi4岁以下di母马;母马指dishi4岁或者4岁以上di母马;yi岁马指dishi春秋zai1岁到2岁之间di马;驹指dishi1岁以下di马。骟马指dishi去势di马,种马shi没you去势di马。

相反,汉语中良多马di描写与颜色you关。骠shi黄色di马;骝shi带you黑鬃和黑尾di红色马;骃shi灰白色di马;骊shi黑色di马;騧shiyou黑色马嘴di黄色马;骐shi紫黑色di马;骅shi枣红色di马;骍shi此外埠yi种红马;骢shi蓝色di马;骓shi带you白蹄子di黑马;駹shi白面di黑马。驹shi年青di马,骥shi年迈马。年青或年迈di详尽水平不详。骏shi跑得快di马,驽shi跑得慢di马。

分歧di马,名字分歧。马di名字要比十二生肖di名字多多le。可shi,年夜部门马shi依据颜色命名di。

zai中国,与英文“princecharming”(白马王子)相对应di汉语词shi“骑白马di王子”或者说shi“白马王子”。关于白马王子,还youge小小di童话故事。

可shi,yi项关于马皮颜色di钻研让自己感受这ge与迪斯尼童话故事you关di词语颇具嘲讽意味。跟着春秋di增添,出生时肤色较暗di马会出人预料di酿成灰色或者白色。假如你不置信,你能够看看白马di马皮。

因而,bayi匹行凑合木di白色老马和yi位王子相联络,并不能默示王子di年青和魅力。可shi,既然自己们年夜部门人都不shi治疗马di兽医,自己们能够疏忽失踪白马shi老马这ge事实,想象yi下那意味纯挚di白色吧,白马王子shi女性伴侣di佳伴侣。

文字记实

几世纪di人马互动,使得那些关于马di词汇代代传承、丰厚睁开,它们默示le中国人对2014年马年di立场。

马除le作为戎行英雄忠厚和英勇di化身外,还因为其自身di经久性遭到人们di赞扬。谚语千里马就默示le马di经久性。

或许,人和马关系di佳类比跟伯乐you关。伯乐shi能够识别千里马di人。zai这里,人类shi人才di挖掘者、支配者和磨炼者;马shiyou待被挖掘、培育di人才。很较着,这shiyige相似于师徒di关系。

就此而论,马ye可能成为虎妈式峻厉教育体例di接管者,正如词组“再接再励”默示出diyi样。

可shi,古代di中国人you认同动物di倾向。他们觉得人与动物di联络如斯慎密,致使于当他们谈论自己马di时分ye可能shizai谈论他们自己。“Toerrishuman(人非圣贤,孰能无过)”这句话zai汉语中对应di句子shi:“人you失踪足,马you失踪蹄”。

通俗,中国人捧臭脚di偏好,这种暗示友老友情di姿势曾经演化成为yi种捧场le。当你拍得欠妥di时分,就拍到le马腿上,那油腔滑调di捧场以失踪败le却le。

zai这些谚语中,马不再shi人di家丁或者门徒le,而shi不雅鉴赏di对象和权益di意味。马di这种双重寄义yezai中国人看待艺人di那些传统不美观念中默示出来。

人和马di权益依靠关系因气象di分歧而分歧。驴子、骡子和马这三种动物里,马居于高档级。

zai中国平易近间传说中,驴子和骡子凡shi被看作shi马di伴侣,它们凡shi被用来陪衬马di巨年夜。马老shi作为好莱坞魔幻{电**}中di超级英雄呈现。只需yi次,马di风头被骆驼盖过le。zai中国di传说里,骆驼dige头比马年夜,即即shi瘦di骆驼ye比马年夜。可shi,骆驼历来没you被誉为shi战胜世界di震物。

毫无疑问,无论zai古代仍shi现代,马深受中国人di喜欢。可shi,那些ba“ma”(马)作为姓氏di人与其他人对比,并不能以此证实you过人之处。

适值,中国di穆斯林ba“穆罕默德”这ge名字di读音中国化,称为马。从此之后,“马”姓成为这yi平易近族中di年夜姓。此外,因为字面意义di启事,很少中国人名字叫“马”,否则“王”就应该shi受欢送di名字le。

可shi,即即shiyi位国王或者皇帝年夜约ye要zai马背上不变江山年夜业。

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(中国ri报周黎明)







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