Hungered flesh

Lestrygonians focuses on the hunger for food evoked by Homer's story of the cannibals, but it pursues several brief detours into sexual hunger. The first comes as Bloom stands on Grafton Street gazing at "Gleaming silks, petticoats on slim brass rails, rays of flat silk stockings" in a shop window. Sexual desire, he thinks, generates this traffic in expensive clothing: "All for a woman, home and houses, silkwebs, silver, rich fruits spicy from Jaffa. Agendath Netaim. Wealth of the world. / A warm human plumpness settled down on his brain. His brain yielded. Perfume of embraces all him assailed. With hungered flesh obscurely, he mutely craved to adore." According to Frank Budgen, Joyce devoted an entire day of his life to ordering the words in the last two sentences.

John Hunt 2024

1900 photograph of shop windows on Sixth Avenue near 18th Street in New York City, held in the Museum of the City of New York, Source:

1904 photograph of a display in a Byron Company window on Sixth Avenue, held in the Museum of the City of New York, Source:

Boulevard de Strasbourg, Corsets, Paris, a 1912 photograph by Eugène Atget held in the Gilman Collection, Source: