I’m thinking back to my question from page 8 here: what is Bloom like in the world? How does he experience the world around him, and what is the relationship between his interior world and the exterior? I think that’s what his wondering about the properties of the color black in relation to heat is all about. (And he is mixing up his terms here, between light and heat and between conducting, refracting and reflecting–it should be “absorbs.”) You could take “interior” to mean both his domestic world and his thoughts, and we could be thinking about how Bloom actually transforms the outside world through his imagination in the coming pages. The smaller panel holding just Bloom and the door to 7 Eccles opening out onto the street, and the long shot down the street leading to St. George’s Church, with its pale warm light and wide-open space, seems to capture the transition from inside to outside nicely. After a lot of discussion, it looks like Rob and Josh settled on how to represent the notes and tones of the bells marking 8:15; I don’t have much of an ear myself, but I think it looks pretty cool arching in the morning sky.
Notice that Bloom is observing that he is wearing black, and thinking about how he feels physically, but he doesn’t explain why he’s wearing black. Later in the morning, he will be attending the funeral of an acquaintance, Paddy Dignam. For now, it might be worth asking why Bloom is thinking about the physical properties of color and heat, rather than the trip to the cemetery at 11 a.m.