« How glorious it is to blaze a new trail, and suddenly to appear in learned society, a book of discoveries in one’s hand, like an unforeseen comet flashing through space!

— No, I will no longer keep my book in petto: here it is, gentlemen.

Read it. I have just completed a forty-two-day voyage around my room.

The fascinating observations I made and the endless pleasures I experienced along the way made me wish to share my travels with the public […] Words cannot describe the satisfaction I feel in my heart when I think of the infinite number of unhappy souls for whom I am providing a sure antidote to boredom and a palliative to their ills. For the pleasure of travelling around one’s room is beyond the reach of man’s restless jealousy: it depends not on one’s material circumstance.

Indeed, is there anyone so wretched, so forlorn as not to have some sort of garret in which to withdraw and hide from the world? For such is all that is required for travel.

I am certain that all sensible men will adopt my system, regardless of disposition or temperament. Whether they be miserly or prodigal, rich or poor, young or old, born in the torrid zone or neat the pole, they can travel as I do. »

 

fragment from Voyage Around My Room by Xavier de Maistre

ARTWORKS

Adel Abdessemed, 'Solitude', 2015

Simon Fujiwara, 'Rehearsal for a Reunion', 2011-2012