The ‘interior’ traveller

Photomontage by Nick Holt

In the Spring of 1790 Xavier de Maistre was confined, under house arrest, and embarked on a remarkable voyage around his bedroom. It was a journey taken almost entirely in his imagination. The book A Journey Around My Room and the later A Nocturnal Investigation Around My Room were the result.

‘There’s no more attractive pleasure than to follow one’s ideas wherever they lead, as the hunter pursues his game, without even trying to keep to any set route. And so, when I travel through my room, I rarely follow a straight line: I go from my table towards a picture hanging in a corner; from there I set out obliquely towards the door; but even though, when I began, it really is my intention to go there, if I happen to meet my armchair en route, I don’t think twice about it, and settle down without further ado.’

In the two books familiar objects are re-viewed and the furniture, engravings etc. explored as if they were being witnessed for the first time in a strange land.

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The Story of Eileen: ‘Aston’s Iron Boat Dock’ (2.)

I’m still in search of the elusive essence of a canal bankside boatyard. What would the Iron Boat Dock, where our day boat Eileen was built in 1903 have looked like? Do these photos of locations around the Birmingham Canals,  gleamed from various sources (see captions) get me any closer?

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