Teresa's Reviews > A Journey Round My Room

A Journey Round My Room by Xavier de Maistre
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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.

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Added on 1/24/17 after meeting with my friend for our little book 'club' of two: She made the point that it's likely that Soul is female because all French nouns have a gender.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 16, 2017 – Shelved
January 16, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)

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message 1: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Fascinating... If he had a Tiepolo fresco on the ceiling of his room, his confinement would have been, may be, more entertaining...

I am looking a Tiepolo lately...


Teresa Kalliope wrote: "Fascinating... If he had a Tiepolo fresco on the ceiling of his room, his confinement would have been, may be, more entertaining...."

Ha, funny you should say that, as he does give a 'tour' of a couple of the paintings and prints on the walls of his room, though he doesn't expand on them in the way Proust and Powell would. He also contrasts painting to music, and considers what is the greatest picture of them all, but what that is might be a spoiler.

It was entertaining enough...


message 3: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Teresa wrote: "

Ha, funny you should say that, as he does giv..."


That 'spoiler' is a cliff hanger. I found a French edition with this and its sequel Expédition nocturne autour de ma chambre Oeuvres complètes, tôme 1 for a good price.

In my Tiepolo book Joseph de Maistre is mentioned.. Not sure if they were related.


Teresa I think you will like this -- I hope you do.

Joseph was the name of Xavier's older brother, who was even more well-known, judging from what I've read.


message 5: by Ted (new)

Ted Ah yes, Uncle Toby. 8 )


Teresa Ted wrote: "Ah yes, Uncle Toby. 8 )"

It's been a long time since I read Sterne (college), but I still remember Uncle Toby.


Teresa Kalliope wrote: "I found a French edition with this and its sequel Expédition nocturne autour de ma chambre Oeuvres complètes, tôme 1 for a good price."

I forget, as you wouldn't, that all French nouns have a gender. So my comment that Soul is referred to as a she doesn't really mean much.


message 8: by Howard (new)

Howard I don't have a manservant, but I have two dogs; I spend a lot of time in one room -- the one that I am now occupying; I 'm not sure about the Soul aspect; but do you think I would like this book?


Teresa Perhaps one of your dogs could act as a manservant?

I think you would find it amusing. My friend found it "charming".

I hesitate to call it a book since it's so short;, but it's available on the internet, though the copy I found was not scanned very well. Because it's a short work that did not annoy me too much.


message 10: by Howard (new)

Howard Teresa wrote: "Perhaps one of your dogs could act as a manservant?

I think you would find it amusing. My friend found it "charming".

I hesitate to call it a book since it's so short;, but it's available on the..."

One of the dogs is a male, so that is a possibility. I'll look for the story online.

Thanks.


Teresa Perfect, as the narrator's dog is named Rose, so I'm assuming it's female.


message 12: by Howard (new)

Howard Teresa wrote: "Perfect, as the narrator's dog is named Rose, so I'm assuming it's female."

One would hope. Okay, so Penney, who spells her name Pinnie, will be the narrator and Shorty, who spells his name Shortie, will be the dog. They both would prefer it that way.

I found the story online. Thanks for mentioning its availability.


Teresa Ah, so you are the manservant. And we have a gender twist on the narrator. I like it.


message 14: by Diane (new) - added it

Diane Barnes This book was mentioned in Will Schwalbe's "Books for Living" which I just finished. I love literary co-insidences!


message 15: by Diane (new) - added it

Diane Barnes coincidences


message 16: by Teresa (last edited Jan 26, 2017 02:05PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa I love them too, but not a coincidence this time, Diane. ;)
The friend I mentioned in my review listened to Schwalbe's "Books for Living" and then asked if I wanted to read his choices with her. I said I would if I could pick and choose. ;) This is the first we've read and discussed together.


message 17: by Diane (new) - added it

Diane Barnes I have ordered Lin Yutang's "The Importance of Living". It sounded like one I needed on my shelf. Thanks for the online reference for this one. I'll look for it.


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