Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses/Circe/541

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Ulysses, 1922.djvu


Non serviam !     (Latin) I shall not serve.[1] In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 3:B, Father Arnall said of Lucifer's sin: Theologians consider that it was the sin of pride, the sinful thought conceived in an instant: non serviam: I will not serve. Later (5:C), Stephen announce's his own revolt to Cranly with the words: I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use - silence, exile and cunning..

The phrase Non serviam is traditionally invoked to describe Lucifer's revolt, but in the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible, the prophet Jeremaiah attributes these words to the people of Israel.[2] This is the only occurrence of the phrase in the Vulgate.


  1. Gifford (1988) 518.
    Thornton (1968) 417.
  2. Jeremaiah 2:20.
Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses
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