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A Journey Round My Room

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  834 ratings  ·  115 reviews
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most impor ...more
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published August 8th 2015 by Andesite Press (first published 1794)
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3.64  · 
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 ·  834 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A digressive, funny, philosophical late-18th-century work told by a man confined to his room: though he interacts occasionally with his manservant and his dog, one could argue that the narrator’s Soul (an entity he refers to as ‘she’) and Animal natures are the biggest presences in the room. The debt to Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is obvious, even without the narrator’s mention of Uncle Toby.


Added on 1/24/17 after meeting with my friend for our little b
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, travel, ebook
How to journey around the world and not leave your room. My favorite chapters dealt with mindfulness and his library.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-bought
"Voyage Around My Room" is the perfect book to read when in bed with a cold. In another life, I would like to list my favorite books to read in bed while sick. This would be in the top ten for sure. The author, Xavier de Maistre, was busted for dueling and sentenced to house arrest for 42 days. What came out of that self-imprisonment is this book. It borders on a Georges Perec or Alain Robbe-Grillet type of fiction, but it was written in 1790. Xavier comments on the paintings and furniture in hi ...more
Bill Bruns
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not more than a moment ago I experienced paroxysms of fear: I could not recall the whereabouts of this book.

It's a pet theory of mine that no matter how much you read, you will only be able to truly know a handful of works in one lifetime. Voyage is such a work in my life. For anyone with anchorite tendencies this is a magnum opus and will touch you to the quick. The narrative is anything but to the point - but that's the point! Without digression life is flavorless and, "Why should [the soul]
Mar 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A bit of a misleading title, as the promised journey is simply a pretext for a series of Tristram Shandy-style digressions. When those digressions are this varied, witty and wise, however, it's hard to complain. Not many writers can discuss mind-body dualism and make you laugh out loud at the same time...
Justin Evans
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Utterly delightful, and exactly what it says it is. This is the kind of book that someone might write today, but lard it so heavily with reflections on how they're not writing fiction, but doing something like totally revolutionary that it would become tedious instead of astonishingly pleasant. Just holding this makes me smile, in memory the smiles I smiled as I read it.
Henrique Maia
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a masterpiece one should read at least once in his/her lifetime. The humourous remarks, the way we are brought to travel with the author in the confinements of his room, his soliloquies within his soul, they all bear witness to mankind's ineffable capabilities of imagination.
Engin Türkgeldi
Dec 09, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I don't get it. This book was apparently a great seller when it first came out back in the 18th century, and people found it profound or something. I only find it silly and self-indulgent. If it had not been less than 70 pages long (I only read the first book, not the second nocturnal one) I could not have finished it. I can certainly understand why someone, confined to their room for over a month in the days before internet and television, would write something like this to pass the time. But w ...more
Viji  (Bookish endeavors)
Why five.? Well.. He managed to create such a weird stuff with such a few words.. And that's an accomplishment. The story did give me a positive thought-that you can turn a prison into a heaven by changing your perception of it. But I don't think he would have written all these things about that room had he resided in it for too long a time. And the thing about mirror.. That was real good.. To see oneself and soul and the other.. I do not how the materialists would respond to that but since I am ...more
Sep 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I can tolerate only about 60 pages of 18th century sentiment; this book is 64 pages long.
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
liked it.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, french-lit
I discussed this charming little book with my dad and he suggested it sounded vaguely like Proust (not that I have read any Proust). The author sits in his room and contemplates his possessions and all that he can see around him, which sparks a chain of memories and contemplation. Thus, 'A Journey around My Room' is like Proust, but glib and flippant. Although de Maistre discusses some quite profound matters, he always adds a certain absurd bathos to them, or suddenly breaks off to mention somet ...more
Jul 29, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philosomaphizers
My three-star rating might be a little harsh because it's a combined rating for both stories in the book. A true evaluation would be four stars for the first story in the collection and two stars for the second.

The first part, "A Journey Around My Room," was wonderful. It captures emotions that are difficult for people to write about like malaise, wealthy guilt, and simple pleasures. I loved it and thought the entire story from start to finish was witty and sweetly written.

The second part, "A No
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

I learned about A Journey Round My Room by reading Traveling In Place by Bernd Stiegler. I read that book a couple of years ago, not getting around to downloading its predecessor until recently. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed!

De Maistre's book is a series of short self-indulgent essays tediously strung together by the Journey concept. Some are humorous and I can imagine that, for people who actually knew de Maistre, his chattering mig
Alex Sarll
With an acknowledged debt to Sterne, a young Frenchman under house arrest in 1790 writes an account of his travels - which, as the title suggests, take him no further than the bedroom door. Except by association, of course, and there's the rub, for through association he can roam infinity. Neither the 'Journey', nor its sequel 'A Nocturnal Expedition Around My Room' (also included here) is quite on Sterne's level, but then who is, especially in translation*? Still, there is a whimsy here, mixed ...more
Long before Georges Perec and company, an imprisoned French official wrote a treatise describing his room as the world, and his adventures therein. It's the sort of thing I would doubtless think up if I was under house arrest. But what I particularly loved about it was that it was the sort of thing that Calvino or Robbe-Grillet or Eco would have thought up, the Savoyard militarist entering worlds of the imagination through mundane objects, and perhaps using that as a metaphor for some theme or t ...more
Artur Nowrot
I remember having to pause in the middle, because I'd read Anthony Hope not long previously and apparently two old-timey aristocratic guys in one month is a bit much for me; but I loved the concept, the humour, and most of the author's musings. A pleasant journey (or rather two) overall.
Nov 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
strange little book, but weirdly alluring in its monotonous setting.
Hom Sack
Sep 26, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like reading this at all. There's nothing interesting here. As short as the book is, it isn't short enough. What a waste of time.
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all time favorite books
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a bizarre book! Should I give it a 2 star or a 3 star?
It has a totally different style and it is unique, but I expected to have a deep book in my hands and did not find much.

The author, during his 42-day prison period in his room, tells the traveling tales of his soul.


“When you are reading a book, Monsieur, and a thought more agreeable than the rest suddenly enters your mind, your soul clings to it at once and forgets the book. As your eyes mechanically follow the words and lines, yo
Curiosity level: very very entertaining! Wish it was longer!

"Was it this to punish me that they confined me to my room? One might as well exile a mouse to a granary." -p.78

Xavier de Maistre, having found guilty of duelling, is confined to his room for 42 days. While most of us might start chewing off our nails (w/o WiFi), he dreams up worlds. The bed, the mirror, the desk - all come alive in animation... breathing out stories.

Xavier essentially wants to tell the reader this: You don't need your
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Hilarious non-fiction (yet parody) travelogue. I read the Attwell translation available for free at the Internet Archive: "What more glorious than to open for oneself a new career--to appear suddenly before the learned world with a book of discoveries in one's hand, like an unlooked-for comet blazing in the empyrean! No longer will I keep my book in obscurity. Behold it, gentlemen; read it! I have undertaken and performed a forty-two days' journey round my room. The interesting observations I ha ...more
Impulse-bought this at a used bookstore, and read a quarter of it before I got home. The first half was amusing and I enjoyed it. It was written when the author was in his twenties and was under house arrest. The second half was written when the author was in his sixties, I think, and I found it dull. I’m not sure whether it was due to the fact that this time he was voluntarily confining himself, or because he was old and rambling (as opposed to young and rambling), but I liked it much less.
Funny psychogeography.
Amanda Pants
Very entertaining!
Jul 01, 2019 marked it as to-buy  ·  review of another edition
Mentioned in Empire Antarctica by Gavin Francis
Erin Boyington
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, favorites, essays
This is actually two books in one: both are the playful, tongue-in-cheek musings of a young French soldier confined to small quarters who takes on the style of travel narratives for considerably shorter journeys.

In A Journey Around My Room, de Maistre has been confined to 42 days of house arrest for dueling. But de Maistre knows how to make lemonade out of his lemons: he takes the opportunity to tour his own room as though it were a foreign country. In the introduction Alain de Botton puts it th
Ghalib Suleiman
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The fact that it is so whimsical given the author's circumstances at the time made it most enjoyable.
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Xavier de Maistre of Savoy (at the time, a region of the Kingdom of Sardinia), lived largely as a military man, but is known as a French writer. The younger brother of noted philosopher and counter-revolutionary Joseph de Maistre, Xavier was born to an aristocratic family at Chambéry in October 1763. He served when young in the Kingdom of Sardinia army, and wrote his fantasy, Voyage autour de ma c ...more
“Imagination, realm of enchantment!- which the most beneficent of beings bestowed upon man to console him for reality- I must quit you now.” 3 likes
“Quando estiverdes a ler um livro, e uma ideia agradável vos vier de súbito à imaginação, a vossa alma agarra-se-lhe de imediato e esquece o livro, ao passo que os vossos olhos seguem maquinalmente as palavras e as linhas; terminais a página sem compreender nem recordar o que haveis lido. - Isso acontece porque a alma, tendo ordenado ao companheiro que realizasse a leitura, não o advertiu da pequena ausência que iria fazer; deste modo, o outro continuava a leitura que a vossa alma já não escutava.” 0 likes
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