“Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture (81 pieces)” is an important Book Project disseminated by Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The setting of “Disseminating Key Concepts in Chinese Thoughts and Culture Project” aims to organize key concepts which can reflect the features of Chinese classical culture and the way of national thinking, and can perform Chinese core values, explain and translate objectively and accurately in concise language which is easy to exchange verbally. By this way, chinese voice and stories will be disseminated in international exchanges, that the condition and history of China will be known better by people in the world.
The specialists committee of the project consist of international well-known specialists and scholars. Senior adviser and Art Review Commission of America Arts Research Institute (AARI), Mr. Yu Wentao took part in the review for the final English version. With the authorization, AARI is going to publish the 81 pieces of Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture here.
To address the extravagance in social mores and in the style of writing of his time, Laozi advocated simple and natural lifestyles and literary presentations. During the Wei and Jin dynasties, men of letters valued natural and simple literary styles and were opposed to extravagant and superficial styles. This line of thought led to the emergence of great poets like Tao Yuanming, and shaped literary writings to reflect direct thoughts and natural expressions. Subsequently, ancient Chinese literature and art took simplicity and naturalness as the highest aesthetic standards.
Sincere words may not be pleasant to the ear; flowery rhetoric may not be sincere. A kind-hearted person may not be an eloquent speaker; a glib person is often not kind. (Laozi)
Laozi detested pretense, so he said, “Flowery rhetoric words may not be sincere.” However, the 5,000 word Dao De Jing (another name of Laozi) he wrote is not only profound in ideas but reads beautifully. That means he was not opposed to writings using fine words. (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)