Salt cloak

Bloom's nightmarish vision of a blasted Palestine in Calypso afflicts him viscerally: "Grey horror seared his flesh. . . . Cold oils slid along his veins, chilling his blood: age crusting him with a salt cloak." The allusion to Lot's wife, a continuation of his earlier contemplation of the Lot story, casts Bloom as an aging man looking back on his best years, feeling that life has passed him by. Later chapters confirm this destructive fixation on lost happiness: the trauma of losing a child has crippled his sexual life, and he cannot move beyond it.

JH 2017

Lot's wife looking back the city of Sodom, in a mosaic in the cathedral of Monreale in Palermo. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Rock formation on Mount Sodom in Israel that is often called the Lot's Wife pillar. Source: expressivesoughl.wordpress.com.