Stiegler, B. (English Translation 2013) Traveling in Place University of Chicago Press ISBN 978 0 226 77467 1
Yet when all of earthly life is only a form of exile, the room journey – in whatever way it occurs – at least offers a form of security […]
pg. 20 Second Leg ‘Pilgrimages’, Traveling in Place
A curious book. Organised in 21 ‘legs’ or micro-essays. About a genre of literature – an oxymoron – ‘room travel’. A philosophical rumination, rich with curious characters and interesting ideas.
[…] they describe the exploration of the near-at-hand as a virtual journey of discovery, as an expedition into a supposedly familiar world which suddenly through the lens of travel is transformed, made strange and resistant, puzzling and instructive.
pg. 40 Fourth Leg ‘Expeditions in the Near-at-Hand’, Traveling in Place
From Xavier de Maistre’s 1794 account of a 42 day journey around his room during house arrest, Steigler (a professor of twentieth century German literature) in the company of a disparate band of fellow travellers that include Jules Verne, Samuel Beckett and Jorge Luis Borges, celebrates meticulous accounts of small spaces. The room as microcosm. An armchair imagination presented as a means of transporting us towards the everyday. But an everyday brilliantly transformed by close observation. Travel as a state of mind rather than physical activity.
Alone in a room a person sees, dreams, and writes.
Philip Stoller in The Park, quoted pg. 186 Traveling in Place
A room […] is unquestionably the biggest country on earth, the most multifaceted in it manifestations, the most remarkable and informative site a traveler […] can contemplate. All types of discoveries, observations, and studies are possible within it. Arthur Mangin, quoted in Traveling in Place pg. 43
Whilst in totality Traveling in Place may have its flaws – it meanders, it often loses focus – drifting from the idea of the flâneur to film theory; from Robbe-Grillet’s literary experimentation to Lévi-Strauss’ anthropology; from the psychological framing of a window, to plants – each ‘leg’ can stand alone as a digestible ten page glimpse into private rooms within rooms, and worlds within worlds. It may not hang together as a book, exactly. But each ‘leg’ is satisfying in and of itself, and each enables an enchanting excursion into intimate spaces.
I will write the On the Road for my generation. It will be called Stay Home.
Adam Green, quoted pg. 229, Traveling in Place