Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses/Proteus/050
Prix de Paris (French) The Grand Prix de Paris (Great Prize of Paris) was the most important event in French horse racing. The mention of Old Father Ocean has reminded Stephen, perhaps, of the steeds of Mananaan See 032.17.
Stephen is probably also punning on the story of the Judgement of Paris, in which the Prince of Troy awarded the Apple of Discord to Aphrodite, precipitating the Trojan War. Paris's prize for choosing Aphrodite was Helen of Troy.
beware of imitations In a palinode attributed to the Greek poet Stesichorus, the Trojan War was fought over a phantom Helen, while the real Helen was living in Egypt under the protection of King Proteus. The historian Herodotus recounts a similar tradition in his Histories. The Greek playwright Euripides also draws upon this tradition for his drama Helen, in which Helen is reunited with her husband Menelaus when he is marooned in Egypt on his way home from Troy. This latter event, of course, is the Homeric background Joyce drew upon when he wrote the Proteus episode of Ulysses.
Lucifer, dico, qui nescit occasum (Latin) The Morning Star, I say, who knows no setting.
Stephen's adapts this quotation from the Easter Vigil, the Catholic service for Holy saturday. The Exultet or Easter Proclamation, sung by the deacon before the Paschal Candle, concludes with the words:
May the early Morning Star find his flames [still burning]:
Flammas eius lúcifer matutínus invéniat:
Lucifer means the bringer of light and was applied to the Morning Star by the ancient Romans. In the Exultet it refers to the risen Christ. But Lucifer is also a name for Satan, so Stephen's phrase can also be translated: Lucifer, I say, who knows no fall.
See Luke 10:18: I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven.
Già (Italian) Indeed. According to Gifford, Stephen is using the word to express impatience; he feels that he has spent enough time wandering across Sandymount Strand and is urging himself to get a move on.
- Gifford (1988) 65.
Thornton (1968) 66.
- Dio Chrysostom, Discourses 11:40 ff.
- Herodotus, Histories 2:112.
- Euripides, Helen.
- Gifford, Don; Seidman, Robert J. (1988). Ulysses Annotated. University of California Press. p. 65.
Thornton, Weldon (1968). Allusions in Ulysses. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 66-67.
- Strong's Hebrew.
- Bible Gateway
- Bible Gateway
- Gifford (1988) 66.