Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses/Scylla and Charybdis/186

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Ulysses, 1922.djvu

Annotations[edit | edit source]

Ta an bad ar an tir. Taim imo shagart     (Errata) These Irish expressions should read: Tá an bád ar an tír. Táim i mo shagart. When an earlier draft of this chapter was printed in The Little Review in April 1919, the reading was the same as appears here.[1]

Tá an bád ar an tír. Táim i mo shagart     (Irish) The boat is on the land. I am a priest.[2] The first sentence is very close to one in Eugene O'Growney's Simple Lessons in Irish.[3] The author was a Catholic priest, which probably accounts for the second sentence. In Stephen Hero, we are told that when Stephen Daedalus undertakes a course of lessons in Irish, He bought the O'Growney's primers published by the Gaelic League.[4] Father O'Growney's portrait hangs over the mantelpiece in the classroom where Stephen learns Irish.[5]

beurla     (Irish, Hiberno-English) The English language. The Irish word beurla (now spelt béarla) originally meant language, speech, dialect, but gradually replaced Saics-Bhéarla (the Saxon tongue). Eugene O'Growney gave beurla as the spelling in 1897,[6] but Patrick S. Dinneen gave béarla.[7]

A basilisk. E quando vede l'uomo l'attosca. Messer Brunetto     (Italian) And when it looks at men it poisons them.[8] A basilisk is a mythical beast hatched by a cockerel from the egg of a serpent, and said to be so venomous that even its glance is deadly. Brunetto Latini was a Florentine scholar of the 13th-century. Among his works is Li Livres dou Trésor (The Books of the Treasury), an encyclopaedia in French.[9] The work was translated into Italian as Il Tesoro de Brunetto Latini (The Treasury of Brunetto Latini), commonly misattributed to Bono Giamboni.[10] Book 5, Chapter 3, Della natura del basilischio (On the nature of the basilisk), includes the remark, which Stephen misremembers: e col suo vedere attosca l'uomo quando lo vede (and with its sight it poisons men when it looks at them). The original French version is: et de sa veue tue les homes quant il les voit (and with its sight kills men when it looks at them).

Although Stephen misremembers the Italian quotation, Joyce apparently did not, for he quotes it correctly in Giacomo Joyce 15: As I come out of Ralli's house I come upon her [Amalia Popper] suddenly as we both are giving alms to a blind beggar. She answers my sudden greeting by turning and averting her black basilisk eyes. E col suo vedere attosca l'uomo quando lo vede. I thank you for the word, messer Brunetto.

Ser Brunetto Latini was a guardian and teacher of Dante, who mentions both him and Il Tesoro in the Inferno 15. Messer and Ser are old forms of address, meaning My Sire and Sire.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Little Review, Volume 5, Number 12, p. 40.
  2. Gifford (1988) 217.
    Thornton (1968) 176.
  3. O'Growney, Eugene (1897). Simple Lessons in Irish: Part 1. p. 22.  §57 includes the sentence: Atá an bád ar tír (There is a boat on land).
  4. Joyce, James (1986). Stephen Hero. London: Grafton Books. p. 55. ISBN 0-586-04477-9. 
  5. Ibid. p. 58.
  6. Eugene O'Growney, Simple Lessons in Irish, Part 2, §332, p.25.
  7. Patrick S. Dinneen, Irish-English Dictionary 61-62.
  8. Gifford (1988) 217-218.
    Thornton (1968) 176.
  9. Latini, Brunetto (1863). Li Livres dou Trésor. Paris: Imprimerie Impériale. pp. 192–193. 
  10. Il Tesoro de Brunetto Latini volgarizzato da Bono Giamboni. Bologna. 1887. pp. 137–139. 
Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses
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