Telemachus 0023

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Mulligan has finished shaving, and has lost the skirmish with Stephen, so he heads back downstairs.  In telling Stephen to quit his “moody brooding,” he triggers in Stephen’s mind a memory of the days at the end of his mother’s life.  Instead of praying with his mother at the time of her death, Stephen sings the W. B. Yeats poem “Who Goes with Fergus.”  The line from that poem “And no more turn aside and brood.” occurs to him all day.

“Chuck Loyola” is notthe name of another friend, but is rather Mulligan’s request to Stephen to leave behind his Jesuitical rigidity (the Jesuit order was founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola) and get over it.

Sassenach” is a Scots word for Englishman–it’s derived from the word “saxon.”


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4 thoughts on “Telemachus 0023

  1. Sasanach is the Gaelic word for an English man or Irish or Scots Gaelic..Scots is a dialect of English spoken in Scotland 🙂

  2. Same remark for Sassenach (cf. the link to Wikipedia). In the Gifford’s “Ulysses annotated” : “Irish for the Saxon (or English) conqueror.”

    Besides, the Yeats poem is first uttered by Mulligan stepping down the stair.

    “His head vanished but the drone of his descending voice boomed out of the stairhead:
    And no more turn aside and brood
    Upon love’s bitter mystery
    For Fergus rules the brazen cars.”

    Remarkable detail if it is going to haunt Dedalus all the way.

    By the way : thanks for your work ! I’m discovering “Ulysses” with Gifford & you…


  3. Good to have you on board, Shudha!

    I’ve never particularly thought it was Mulligan who utters the first stanza of “Who Goes With Fergus?” here but, instead, his comment about “moody brooding” brings up the sound of the song in Stephen’s head.

    In a novel words and their source are not connected with the same anchors or constraints as they are in a play or a movie and Joyce plays upon this freedom throughout ULYSSES to give us a shifting sense of perspective and multiple viewpoints. But in comics it’s trickier to do.

    If Mulligan were to be singing that exact song that Stephen carries in such a sharp and painful memory of his mother’s last days, if he were able to do that knowingly at that moment in their conversation, what does that say about the two men’s relationship? How much of a jerk can Mulligan be?

  4. – Traduction française / French translation –

    Mulligan a fini de se raser, et a perdu sa joute verbale avec Stephen, alors il redescend à l’étage inférieur. En disant à Stephen de “lâcher [ses] tristes méditations”, il lui remémore un souvenir des derniers jours de sa mère. Au lieu de prier avec elle, à l’article de la mort, Stephen avait récité le poème de Yeats “Who goes with Fergus”. Le vers “Ne te détourne plus pour méditer” lui était revenu à l’esprit toute la journée.

    “Chuck Loyola” n’est pas le nom d’un autre de leurs amis, c’est que Mulligan demande à Stephen de “balancer Loyola” en se défaisant de sa rigidité jésuitique (la Compagnie de Jésus fut fondée par saint Ignace de Loyola) et en tournant la page.

    “Sassenach” est un mot écossais signifiant “Anglais”, un dérivé de “Saxon”.

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