成語故事

Paper is Expensive in Loyang

During the Western Chin dynasty, there lived a writer named Tzuo Si,, who was neither very handsome nor very eloquent. He once decided to write a book on the local customs and a landscape of the capticals of WEi, Shu and Wu of the Three Kingdoms Period, which he would call San Du Fu, or The Story of the Three Capitals.

Other writers of the time mocked him, but Tzuo Si was undaunted by their critism. Painstakingly he gathered information. After ten years of hard work, researching and writing, San Du Fu was finished. It was highly praised by many great writers, some of whom wrote a preface for it, and some of whome wrote annotations. With the contributions of these well-known wirtersm San Du Fu's value increased greatly and people of the time all rushed to read it. At that time, when one wanted to read a book, one had to buy paper and copy it oneself. Because everyone wanted to buy paper on which to copy Tzuo Si's book, paper in Loyang became very expensive.

Today, this idiom can be used to describe a situation in which many people all want to read a particular book, or to praise a book or paper which is very well-written.

洛陽紙貴

西晉的時候,有一個文學家名叫左思。左思的外貌不好,也不太會說話。他決定要寫一篇「三都賦」,內容是描寫三國時代魏、蜀、吳三國首都的風土人情和山川形勢。當時有一個作家陸機知道了,就譏笑他說:「等這篇三都賦寫好了,拿來蓋酒罈子吧!」

左思並不在乎別人的譏笑,細心地找資料,家中到處都放著紙聿,每當靈慼來了,立刻寫下來。他苦心構思了十年,終於完成了「三都賦」。大文學家皇甫謐、張載、劉逵、張華等看了「三都賦」都紛紛讚美。有的給他寫序,有的為他注解。左思的「三都賦」因此身價百倍,愛好文章的人都爭相閱讀。那時候要看一本書,都得自己買紙抄寫。人人買紙抄「三都賦」,西晉首都洛陽的紙都漲價了。


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