Mulligan repeats, to Stephen, a fellow medical student's surmise that Stephen has "g. p. i.," or "General paralysis of the insane"—an outdated medical term for tertiary syphilis, syphilis of the central nervous system. The insult may not be quite as insensitive as it first appears, but it also seems to have acquired a sharper edge retrospectively from the medical problems that later appeared in Joyce's family.

JH 2011

Kathleen Ferris, James Joyce and the Burden of Disease (1995).