Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses/Circe/412

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Ulysses, 1922.djvu


la belle dame sans merci     (French) the beautiful woman without pity. The traditional French concept of the beautiful woman who tempts men with the promise of love only to destroy them echoes the Greek myth of Circe. Keats used this expression as the title of a poem of 1819.

ad deam qui laetificat juventutem meam     (Latin) to the goddess who gladdens my youth.[1] Stephen has adapted a phrase from the Latin Tridentine Mass, which was still in use in 1904. At the start of the Mass, during the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the Priest intones the words: Introibo ad altare Dei (I will go into the altar of God). To this the servers respond: Ad Deum qui laetificat iuventutem meam (To God who gladdens my youth).

See also 003.05.

Joyce's spelling juventutem is an acceptable alternative to iuventutem. Gabler emends the text in favour of the latter.[2]


  1. Gifford (1988) 454.
    Thornton (1968) 360.
  2. Joyce, James (1986). Hans Walter Gabler. ed. Ulysses: The Corrected Text. With Wolfhard Steppe and Claus Melchior. London: The Bodley Head. p. 353. 
Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses
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