What is the correct Chinese translation of:

English: the aesthetics of dawn

German: die Ästhetik des Morgengrauens


The aesthetics of dawn is one evoked on a philosophical level in the first two aphorisms of Nietzsche's "Morgenröte" which explain the title of this book. I include them as a reference picture for you below and recommend you to read.

After a long epistemological quest in the darkness of the underground, the author rises to the dawn of the living with a high degree of need for sharing of his new insights.

On an artistic level, we understand by this term the aesthetics of the light of daybreak, which makes white look blueish, red and brown almost the same, and gives everything a dimmed and darker touch. This is reflected in the paintings by an often black background and color mixtures which are dominated by one substance with a tint of another. You can see ample examples of this in my series 从布局到软抽象绘画.

The predominant color black represents in the realm of abstract expressionism the end of a "rite de passage", the end of "die andere Nacht", and marks the new beginning of a new era in the œuvre of an artist (cf. this PhD thesis and references therein). We speak exactly about the period after these rituals which are characterized by "black paintings". But the aesthetics of dawn have something in common with them, namely, just as in Nietzsche's case, they carry the insights of what was before, enriched with new ones, expressed by the use, among others, black shapes.

Preliminary thoughts on a possible translation:

I would suggest the Chinese translation 黎明的美感, but I've not read the Chinese translation of Nietzsche's "Morgenröte" to check if this fits and produces the desired concordance with the book. Except this, I'm not a native speaker of Chinese and can't judge the appropriateness of this translation in general. 1. Aphorism 2. Aphorism

2 Answers 2


I think what you need is to clarify your terminologie.
Ich glaube, was du hier brauchst, ist eine Klärung der Terminologie.

perceiving the dawn: 黎明的感知

One is not Humpty Dumpty:

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

The English word aesthetic is borrowed from German


1798, from German Ästhetisch (mid-18c.) or French esthétique (which is from German), ultimately from Greek aisthetikos "of or for perception by the senses, perceptive," of things, "perceptible," from aisthanesthai "to perceive (by the senses or by the mind), to feel,"

The Germans borrowed Ästhetisch from the Greeks.

LSJ has no result for αἰσθητικ, but for αἰσθητικός


German (Pape) empfindend, wahrnehmend, τρίτον μέρος αἰσθ. τὸ περὶ τὴν ἀκοήν, Plat. Tim. 67a; ζωή Arist. Eth. Nic. 1.7.12; τιν ὀς, oft Plut.; – τὰ αἰσθητικά, das Wahrnehmbare, Plut. cap. host. util. p. 279. • Adv., αἰσθητικῶς ἔχω ἐμαυτοῦ, ich merke an mir, Ael. V.H. 14.23.

If aisthetikos means, if we are talking about things, "perceptible", then "the aesthetics of dawn" means nothing more than "perceiving the dawn" or "the perception of the dawn".

Falls aisthetikos bedeutet, wenn man von Dingen redet, "wahrnehmbar" dann "Ästhetik des Morgengrauens" bedeutet nichts mehr wie "das Wahrnehmen des Morgengrauens" oder "wahrnehmend des Morgengrauen"

How Humpty Dumpty, or Nietzsche, or you, interpret aesthetic is anyone's guess!

  • The term aesthetics is either 美感 or 美学 in Chinese. It can be a theory of the sensual perception of beauty - that's the usual definition.🤣 Jan 27 at 17:15

I divulge the insights I gained from a conversation with my good friend Heidi - a Chinese native speaker. The input here is due to her:

The Chinese title of Nietzsche's "Morgenröte" is《晨曦:思想的预兆》. Sometimes, it is also called《曙光》. This is the result of a 百度 search.

Both translations of the title don't fit very well as a 格言 for the evoked aesthetics. Hence, I would stick with 黎明.

Further, contrary to what I thought initially, the term 美学 is more appropriate than 美感.

The complete translation therefore reads as 黎明的美学.

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