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Bloom wipes himself with the “prize story” and…so much for literary merit. He checks his trousers, looks at the sky to figure the time. The Dance of the Hours representing the passage of time with a “poetical idea” has become the practical question of getting to the funeral on time, itself a commemoration of passage. Bloom has come out of the imagined world of his marriage, the smell of the outhouse, and prepares to begin his journey. Like a wanderer might have done in the time of Odysseus himself, he looks at the sky for orientation.