Episode 7, "Aeolus," starts at about noon. With the morning hours having been narrated twice, time now moves forward more or less uninterrupted. Bloom shows up in this chapter, back in town from his visit to the cemetery, and somewhat later Stephen does too, in from the seashore, but the action does not center on them as in earlier chapters, and they never interact. As in Wandering Rocks three chapters later, the urban setting itself—the bustle around Sackville Street and inside the nearby newspaper offices—seems as important as the thoughts and feelings of the main characters. Amid all the bustle nothing really happens, except for a little mercantile enterprise on Bloom's part and a little artistic enterprise on Stephen's that both manage to seem inconsequential in context, though they are not. The resulting sense of busy stasis is heightened by an underlying allusion to the Homeric story of winds driving Odysseus' ships nearly home and then back out to sea again. This buried literary analogue generates numerous verbal figures of wind and frustrated journeying. It also resonates with two major thematic preoccupations in the chapter: the art of rhetoric, and the sense of futility in Dublin, capital city of an imperial property.

JH 2020

Johannes Stradanus, Ulysses and Aeolus in the Cave of the Winds, brown ink drawing with blue and white wash ca. 1600-05, held in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Source:

2013 photograph by HEN-Magonza of an 18th century terracotta statue of the wind god Aeolus with a leather bag on his head, held in the Städtische Galerie-Liebighaus, Museum alter Plastik, Frankfurt. Source:

Headlines and captions on p. 3 of the 16 June 1904 Evening Telegraph, as reconstructed and digitized by Ian Gunn and collaborators at the Split Pea Press in Edinburgh. Source:

Pericles Gives the Funeral Speech, 1852 oil painting by Philipp Foltz. Source: Wikimedia Commons.