To the right

When Bloom has collected his letter from the post office on Westland Row, the narrative observes that "He strolled out of the postoffice and turned to the right." This detail would be unremarkable were it not that, after three more right turns and a detour through a church, he ends up almost exactly where he started—and then turns left. His meandering steps, circling back on themselves, describe the beginning of a second giant question mark. Scholars have uncovered this pattern, suggestive of extreme distraction and aimlessness, but for the casual reader it is buried beneath a sea of textual details.

JH 2017

Period photograph, date unknown, of the block on the east side of Westland Row where the post office was located near the entrance to the train station. St. Andrew's church can be seen in the background. Source: www.pinterest.com.

2007 photograph by Peter Gerken of Pearse (formerly Westland Row) Station. The post office below the railway overpass has been replaced by a ticket office for the trains. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The "railway arch" over South Cumberland Street that supports the train tracks above. Source: John Hunt.

Recent photograph of the front entrance of St. Andrew's Church on Westland Row. Source: www.pinterest.com.

Section of a Dublin map constructed for the 1898 Thom's Almanac, modified here to show Bloom's route after he leaves the post office. Source: digital.ucd.ie.