I'm working on a literary translation of a 16th century Joseon prose narrative, and I'm here to ask for help with a few of the bits I'm finding gnarly and confusing. I've hit on the passage:

久作江湖之漫浪。 何圖不我遐棄。

I have translated it as:

"For a long time (久), I have caused (作) wild and unrestrained [behaviour throughout] the whole wide world (江湖之漫浪). How could I expect that you would not cast me aside?"

Do you think "wild and unrestrained" is okay for 漫浪?

(Context: the speaker is General Malt, i.e. alcohol, addressing a ruler.)

  • 1
    作 doesn't mean "cause" – it's a figurative usage. "Having been the free wave of rivers and lakes for a long time, for what should he not cast himself (or me, context dependent.) aside?"
    – Stan
    Jan 11, 2016 at 8:23
  • 1
    Being wild and unrestrained so long, why should I remain in norm? Or why should I remain sober. Or why my exile should be brief?
    – Jesse
    Jan 11, 2016 at 10:16

2 Answers 2


Thanks for an intro to a great piece by Im Jae (sp? 林悌‧愁城誌). Do you know of any English or Chinese studies or translations of his work?

I found it pretty difficult writing, a pastiche of the 尚書, packed full of metaphors and puns on drinking. For the passage you are working on, it always helps to look at the larger context, especially where the author is using a lot of parallelism in his grammar:

It's because of (my) flaunting of Manners and Codes,
That I've long been a roamer of River and Lake

That you would accept me, how was that my intent?
And now you would have me command your attack!

  • Thanks wpt. My translation and study that I am currently working on is the only English translation of the text. I don't read modern Chinese, so I'm not sure about that...all the work I know is in Korean, although I have seen one Chinese article somewhere online. (Im Jae or Im Je are both ok romanisation!) Please keep an eye out, I hope to publish online...
    – jeongin
    Jan 12, 2016 at 11:16

I feel "漫浪" here is something similar to "漂泊" (wander in distant travel away from home)。

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