"To ourselves... new paganism... omphalos": Stephen thinks of three very different expressions, all of them apparently associated with Mulligan and his plans for the tower. The phrases encompass a wide range of implied meanings: political, aesthetic, spiritual, sexual. But all seem connected to a countercultural vision: avant-garde and anti-bourgeois. The Greek word omphalos reappears elsewhere in the novel and collects a variety of associations.

JH 2011

Omphalos stone from Delphi. Source: www.utexas.edu.

Relief statue on column commissioned by the co-emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus in the 2nd c. AD to honor their predecessor, Emperor Antoninus. Source: wikicompany.org.

Jon Stewart, The Daily Show.