[UCP Books]: Traveling in Place: A History of Armchair Travel

"Stiegler introduces us to a history of travelogues, all written by trailblazers who measure the span of their adventures by the number of paces between the fireside armchair and the window casement. . . . The book suggests that, no matter how far any wandering sightseer might travel, what really embarks upon the trek is our imagination." —Christian Bök, author of Euonia


Traveling in Place
A History of Armchair Travel
Bernd Stiegler
Translated by Peter Filkins

 

US Publication date: 15 November 2013 ISBN-13: 978-0-226-77467-1
UK Publication Date: 19 November 2013 Cloth $25.00/£17.50
 
What if you could travel to exotic lands at a moment’s notice and without leaving the comfort of your own living room? No passport, no currency, no security screening required—the luxury of armchair travel is accessible to us all. In Traveling in Place, Bernd Stiegler celebrates this convenient, magical means of transport in all its many forms.

Organized into twenty-one “legs”—or short chapters—Traveling in Place begins with a consideration of Xavier de Maistre’s 1794 Voyage de autour de ma chambre, an account of the forty-two-day “journey around his room” Maistre undertook as a way to entertain himself while under house arrest. Stiegler is fascinated by the notion of exploring the familiar as though it were completely new and strange. He engages writers as diverse as Roussel, Beckett, Perec, Robbe-Grillet, Cortázar, Kierkegaard, and Borges, all of whom show how the everyday can be brilliantly transformed. Like the best guidebooks, Traveling in Place is more interested in the idea of travel as a state of mind than as a physical activity, and Stiegler reflects on the different ways that traveling at home have manifested themselves in the modern era, from literature and film to the virtual possibilities of the Internet, blogs, and contemporary art.
 
Bernd Stiegler is professor of twentieth-century German literature and of literature and media at the University of Konstanz. Peter Filkins is a poet and teaches literature at Bard College at Simon's Rock. Please contact Carrie Olivia Adams at (773) 702-4216 or cadams@press.uchicago.edu

 

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