At the end of Telemachus Mulligan playfully compares himself to the unfallen man of Christian myth, and then to the fully evolved man of Nietzschean philosophy: "My twelfth rib is gone, he cried. I'm the Uebermensch." The sudden disappearance of a rib makes him Adam, and in the figure of the Übermensch he aspires to Friedrich Nietzsche's prophetic ideal of a man who succeeds in overcoming the soul-killing heritage of Christian ethics and metaphysics. Several sentences later, Mulligan perverts the language of Proverbs 19:17 (“He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord”) to trumpet Nietzsche's rejection of Christian ethics: "He who stealeth from the poor lendeth to the Lord. Thus spake Zarathustra."

JH 2016

Friedrich Nietzsche in Basel, ca. 1875. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The parabolic figures of Thus Spake Zarathustra (camel, lion, child), by an unknown artist. Source: kubrickfilms.tripod.com.