Pan's hour

As Stephen lies back on the rocks to nap, he thinks, "I am caught in this burning scene. Pan's hour, the faunal noon." The Romans associated the Greek god Pan with their own rural demigods called "fauns," who were libidinous denizens of the countryside, half-human and half-goat in shape. Stephen may be thinking of one particular faun, the figure in Stéphane Mallarmé's celebrated poem L'après-midi d'un faune, "The after-noon of a faun" (1876).

JH 2016

Frontispiece by Édouard Manet for the poem L'après-midi d'un faune by Stéphane Mallarmé. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Stéphane Mallarmé as Pan, on the cover of the literary magazine Les hommes d'aujourd'hui, 1887. Source: Wikimedia Commons.