Ok folks, I have another asshole section from the text I am working on, Suseongji (Chouchengzhi), by a 16th century Joseon literatus...

This time, this passage is driving me nuts:


The only bit that is really clear to me is 杯酒釋兵權。but the general context is that a General Malt (e.g. alcohol) is addressing the 天君 (e.g. the mind) so maybe there are some jokes I don't understand...?

'There is a method for attacking/defeating/overcoming sorrows. Permit me to pick a time and at once go inside of it [the Citadel of Sorrows] (許臣時一中之), and “do not doubt those you use” (不疑於用). This is to say that though I have been much-criticised (謂臣招衆口), you alone made the judgement [about me] in your mind. It follows that when you order someone of inferior talent to contain the ocean (i.e. do as much as they can), they are so daring/presumptuous that they do not strive...增淸烈。益播芳芬。'

If anyone can help with this I will be so so grateful.

  • IMHO this article was quite terrible. I can't see much original language other than bulk text citing or quoting other works.
    – Stan
    Jan 22, 2016 at 4:57
  • You mean my post?
    – jeongin
    Jan 22, 2016 at 9:33
  • 1
    no, I meant Suseongji (Chouchengzhi).
    – Stan
    Jan 22, 2016 at 9:34
  • Ahahaha my bad I thought maybe I am using this site wrong! Yes, it is an annoying work and I am finding it annoying and really hard to translate. I wouldn't have picked it if I'd read the whole thing before I started my program. My basic thesis now is that it is not an 'original novel'...it is not original, or a novel...it is a LOT of allusions all mashed up together...
    – jeongin
    Jan 22, 2016 at 9:36

1 Answer 1


海量 is a pun; a man with the ability to accept others' opinions, and someone who can hold as much liquor as you can pour into him.
淸烈 also, 'purity of heart' and 'strong white (distilled?) liquor'
芳芬 also, 'fragrance = a great reputation' and fragrance = 'well fermented booze'

  • This whole text is too punny for my liking...
    – jeongin
    Jan 21, 2016 at 11:11

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