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Well, alright. More Nietzsche, then, as Mulligan closes the loop on his Zarathustra-inspired teaching. One of the ways Friedrich’s term “ubermensch” has been translated is “superman.” Whether Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster had the German philosopher in mind when they invented the noblest superhero of them all is a matter of debate, but I think Rob might be having fun with it here. Certainly our stately, plump Buck Mulligan is quite a spectacle in flight.
Stephen’s thoughts, in the black boxes, come from an old Irish proverb (according to the great Gifford): “Beware of the horns of a bull, of the heels of a horse, of the smile of an Englishman.” Stephen has been sensing trouble throughout the chapter, and things are no different here.
Mulligan proposes meeting at “The Ship,” which was a Dublin pub, but also has a nice overtone of the ship Telemachus uses to leave Ithaca, and the ship Antinoos uses to try to catch him. Joyce must have liked the tidiness of the reference.