Friday, April 20, 2007

Voyage around my room

some suggestions for voyaging differently

reading at the moment a funny little book, 'Voyage around my Room' by Xavier de Maistre in Hebrew (The French text of Voyage autour de ma chambre

is available online ).

In 1790 Xavier de Maistre was punished for having gotten into a duel by being put under house arrest for forty-two days. De Maistre took advantage of his sequestration, finding within his own four walls a wealth of material to dwell on. His short book, Voyage around my Room, recounts his expeditions during that time. It is a travel book like no other.


Which reminded me the book, À Rebours (translated into English as Against the Grain or Against Nature)by french novelist Joris-Karl Huysmans. The book tell the story of Des Esseintes- the last member of a powerful and noble family. He decides to leave Paris where he had lived an extremely decadent life which has left him disgusted with human society. And he absconds to a small house in the countryside in solitude.

He fills the house with his eclectic art collection. And decides to spend the rest of his life in intellectual and aesthetic contemplation. He indulge himself in intellectual experiments, and see his life only worth while by living an hyperaesthetic experience of the world.

on almost cloistral methods, to soothe his fantasy and to gratify his complex aesthetic sensations, his love of reading and contemplation. The finest pictures of Gustave Moreau hang on the walls, with the fantastic engravings of Luyken, and the strange visions of Odilon Redon. He has a tortoise curiously inlaid with precious stones; he delights in all those exotic plants which reveal Nature's most unnatural freaks; he is a sensitive amateur of perfumes, and considers that the pleasures of smell are equal to those of sight or sound; he possesses a row of little barrels of liqueurs so arranged that he can blend in infinite variety the contents of this instrument, his "mouth-organ" he calls it, and produce harmonies which seem to him comparable to those yielded by a musical orchestra.

In one of the book's more comic episodes, he spontaneously decides to visit London. When he reaches the train station, he overhears some English visitors, whom he finds disgusting. Feeling that he now knows what London would be like, he immediately returns home. x

also found

aleksandra domanovic video, aleksandra is humming while mapping her home in this video

1 comment:

Princess Haiku said...

Dear Moon,
I have been missing you and hope you have time to stop by and see my latest Moon related postings before they archive. I am feeling the urge to write something more substantial soon.
I enjoyed reading your review of Huysmans and will look for an English translation. I have come across this author before and am trying to remember where.

Have you discovered any other flower maps? I was printing out my blog and came across one of my first posts on blogspot and it was an orchid map you had found.

Hope you are well in your dream world of translucent and permeable maps.

Do you think we are hyper aesthetic, Moon? Oh, no- what is the cure?