Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses/Circe/483

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Ulysses, 1922.djvu


Contact with a goldring, they say     It is still a common superstition that contact with a gold ring will cure a stye.[1] This, apparently, is based on the myth that styes (and acne) occur in young women at the onset of menstruation due to sexual repression or masturbation. The cure is marriage (i.e. contact with a gold wedding ring).[2]

Argumentum ad feminam     (Latin) Argument to the woman.[3] Argumentum ad hominem (argument to the person) is the name of a fallacious form of reasoning in which one attempts to refute a statement by discrediting the person who asserts that statement. Argumentum ad feminam generally denotes a fallacy in which the lynchpin of the argument reflects poorly on female nature. Virag seems to be alluding to the myth (see the previous annotation) that styes in young women are caused by sexual repression or masturbation, the cure being marriage to a man.


  1. Gifford (1988) 494.
  2. Inman, W. S. (1946). "Styes, Barley and Wedding Rings". The British Journal of Medical Psychology (John Wiley & Sons) 20 (4): 331–338. 
  3. Gifford (1988) 494.
    Thornton (1968) 396.
Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses
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