Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses/Oxen of the Sun/403

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Ulysses, 1922.djvu


Deine Kuh Truebsal melkest Du. Nun trinkst Du die suesse Milch des Euters     (German) You are milking your cow "Affliction". Now you are drinking the sweet milk of her udder. The words are not spoken by Zarathustra in Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathustra. Weldon Thornton notes a similarity to Shakespeare: Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy (Romeo and Juliet 3:3:55).

Per deam Partulam et Pertundam nunc est bibendum !     (Latin) By the goddess Partula and Pertunda now we must drink.[1] Partula, or Parca, was a Roman goddess of childbirth. Pertunda was a Roman goddess of sexual intercourse and carnal love who presided over the loss of virginity; she has been identified with Juno; he name derives from pertundere (to penetrate).

Nunc est bibendum (Now is the time to drink) are the opening words of Horace's Odes 1.37, written to celebrate Octavian's victory over Antony and Cleopatra.[2]

Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus, Pater et Filius     (Latin) May almighty God bless you, Father and Son.[3] In the Latin Tridentine Mass, which was still in use in 1904, the Dismissal ends with the Blessing, Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus, Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus (May almighty God bless you, Father and Son and Holy Spirit), to which the congregation replies Amen. There then follows the Last Gospel.[4]

En avant, mes enfants!     (French) Forward, my children!

Ma mère m'a mariée     (French) My mother married me. These are the opening words of a bawdy French song:

Ma mère m'a mariée un mari.
Mon Dieu, quel homme, qu'il est petit!
Je l'ai perdu au fond de mon lit.
Mon Dieu, quel homme, qu'il est petit!
My mother married me off to a husband.
My God, what a man, how small he is!
I lost him at the bottom of my bed.
My God, what a man, how small he is!

Retamplan Digidi Boum Boum     Nonsense words believed to represent the sound of drums. In French, rataplan is commonly used to express the sound of a drum, especially in marching songs. Boum Boum could be an improvised French spelling of Boom Boom, the English equivalent of rataplan.

Gabler reverts to the manuscript reading: Retamplatan digidi boumboum.

Silentium !     (Latin) Silence![5]

Uebermensch     (German) See 022.16.


  1. Gifford (1988) 441.
    Thornton (1968) 348.
  2. Horace, Odes 1.37.
  3. Gifford (1988) 441.
    Thornton (1968) 348.
  4. Missale Romanum 339.
  5. Gifford (1988) 442.
Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses
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