Far east

The opening paragraphs of Lotus Eaters can be said to reenact the action of the corresponding episode of the Odyssey. The first sentence reports that "Mr Bloom walked soberly" along Rogerson's Quay, and the reader of Ulysses will soon come to appreciate how much he embodies sobriety. But in the third paragraph he indulges a fantasy of "The far east" that is escapist, intoxicating, and reminiscent of the experience of Homer's lotus-eaters. Before long he recovers his sobriety by pondering the science of floating and falling bodies. Thus he plays the parts of both the men who lose themselves in a drug dream and the leader who pulls them out of it.

John Hunt 2022

The lotus-eaters, by an unknown artist. Source: theodysseyperla2.weebly.com.

W. E. F. Britten's photogravure illustration of the lotus-eaters in The Early Poems of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1901). Source: Wikimedia Commons.

2010 photograph by Nyanatusita of lianas in the Udawattakele Forest, Sri Lanka. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Lianas in the canopy of a tropical rainforest. Source: www.britannica.com.

2010 graphic showing the cycling of nitrogen from its elemental atmospheric form into bio-available forms and back again. Source: Wikimedia Commons.