Naked, in a womb

Bloom's fantasy of floating "naked, in a womb of warmth," admirably illustrated by Frank Budgen in the image accompanying this note, expresses a deep-seated desire which Joyce once declared in a letter to Nora—the desire to return to an original state of human existence. It also culminates a strain of imagery that runs throughout Lotus Eaters—images of comforting cups, tubs, pots, and other containers that contribute to the mood of drugged contentment in the chapter.

JH 2019

Frank Budgen's illustration of The Lotus Eaters, in James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses (Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1934).