Genuine Christine

"For this, O dearly beloved, is the genuine Christine: body and soul and blood and ouns": Mulligan's words imitate the Catholic priest’s action of presenting the consecrated host to the congregation, an action which itself recapitulates Jesus’ words at the Last Supper (“This is my body...This is my blood”). The mocking substitution of Christine for Christ inverts the Catholic Mass into a Satanic black mass, supposedly celebrated over a woman’s naked body. The cheerful blasphemy is typical of Mulligan, but it holds serious implications for all of Ulysses, which subverts otherworldly religion in favor of human sexuality. The novel will conclude with water and blood flowing from the body of a sexually active woman.

John Hunt 2011


Black mass as celebrated at the court of Louis XIV. Source:

Henry de Malvost, The Guiborg Mass (1666). Source: