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July 04, 2009



I saw the film Ulysses in the late 60's. Couldn't make much of it.
Do remember one chararacter singing:
"Adoro te te devotes latens Deitas
que sub his figuris
stick it up your ass"
I couldn't see the point. Can you?
An astonishingly lovely piece of liturgy impaled by the cruelest blasphemy.

What was the point?


Can't get a grip on Celtic spirituality.
Could you be so kind and define it. Does it belong only to those of Celtic descent?
Would Saxon spirrituality be remotely PC?

Spirit of Vatican II

Certainly there is lots of tastelessness in Ulysses, even if Joyce is not to blame for that particular piece of vulgarity in the movie. Joyce set out to celebrate Life -- but did he end up celebrating only Language?

Celtic spirituality is largely a New Age myth. Matthew Fox held up Meister Eckhart as a model of Celtic spirituality. You can find perhaps some love of nature in early Irish poetry and celebrate the independence of the British Church until the Roman crackdown at the Synod of Whitby in 664 and of the Irish Church until as late as the 12th century (St Malachy and the Rome-backed Norman Invasion). Figures like Columbanus and Scotus Eriugena could be seen as products of that climate. The greatest artistic monument of that world is the Book of Kells, much referred to in Finnegans Wake (where Ulysses, too, is associated with it, with a play on Eccles St, Bloom's residence).

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