Traveling in Place

Stiegler Bernd Filkins Peter
Beginning with a consideration of Xavier de Maistre s 1794" Voyage de autour de ma chamber, " an account of Maistre s forty-two day journey around his room while enduring house arrest, Stiegler reflects on the many different ways that the idea of traveling while at home armchair travel--have manifested in the modern era. Through twenty-one legs, or short chapters it moves quickly from the eighteenth century to consider a wide variety of episodes all the way up to the present day. Along the way, we encounter writers as diverse as Maistre, Goncourt, Roussel, Beckett, Calvino, Perec, Robbe-Grillet, and Cortazar. Stiegler is interested in the idea of travel more as a state of mind than as a physical activity, and the book takes on the quality of a meditation here and there. It will find an eclectic audience curious to learn about a subject they may never have thought about before, but which they will immediately recognize as pertinent to how we are all travelers in one way or another in the modern world.


Armchair travel may seem like an oxymoron. Doesn't travel require us to leave the house? And yet, anyone who has lost herself for hours in the descriptive pages of a novel or the absorbing images of a film knows the very real feeling of having explored and experienced a different place or time without ever leaving her seat. No passport, no currency, no security screening required--the luxury of armchair travel is accessible to us all. In Traveling in Place, Bernd Stiegler celebrates this convenient, magical means of transport in all its many forms.
Organized into twenty-one "legs"--or short chapters--Traveling in Place begins with a consideration of Xavier de Maistre's 1794 Voyage autour de ma chambre, an account of the forty-two-day "journey around his room" Maistre undertook as a way to entertain himself while under house arrest. Stiegler is fascinated by the notion of exploring the familiar as though it were completely new and strange. He engages writers as diverse as Roussel, Beckett, Perec, Robbe-Grillet, Cortázar, Kierkegaard, and Borges, all of whom show how the everyday can be brilliantly transformed. Like the best guidebooks, Traveling in Place is more interested in the idea of travel as a state of mind than as a physical activity, and Stiegler reflects on the different ways that traveling at home have manifested themselves in the modern era, from literature and film to the virtual possibilities of the Internet, blogs, and contemporary art.
Reminiscent of the pictorial meditations of Sebald, but possessed of the intellectual playfulness of Calvino, Traveling in Place offers an entertaining and creative Baedeker to journeying at home.
More Information
Publisher University of Chicago Press
ISBN-10 0226774678
ISBN-13 9780226774671
GTIN-13 9780226774671
GTIN-14 09780226774671
Subtitle A History of Armchair Travel
Author Stiegler Bernd|Filkins Peter
Edition 1
Language Code eng
Page Count 264
Publication Date Oct 27, 2013
Dimension 5.86 in 8.78 in 0.86 in