Unknown book about a man who decided to be a tourist in his own home
November 5, 2006 7:56 AM   Subscribe

Help me identify this book! A friend asked me this, and I quote: "book from the 17th century? about the guy who decided to be a tourist in his own home. he wrote a whole book about how he's exploring his kitchen and livingroom. finding things he'd never seen before. marveling at a cupboard he hasn't opened for a long time. stumbling upon a pretty rock underneath the carpet." There are no other clues. I told her I had no idea what it was, but now I too am curious and interested in reading it. Apparently, not even the person who recommended it to her could remember the title or the author. Any ideas?
posted by Lush to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The focus on seeing the familiar in new ways makes me think of Viktor Shklovsky's early 20th-century art criticism, but the time period of his work is wrong for your book, and I don't think he wrote any narratives using his theoretical framework. Still, it might be an interesting rabbit-hole to dive into...
posted by Alterscape at 8:03 AM on November 5, 2006

It's probably Voyage autour de ma chambre (Voyage Around My Room) by Xavier de Maistre. Review of a recent translation. Your friend might have read about in The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton (a terrible book, but if it turned someone on to this kind of thing, it might help the case for AdB's defence).
posted by Mocata at 8:32 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

(I mean, 'your friend's friend might have heard about it...')
posted by Mocata at 9:20 AM on November 5, 2006

Why is "The Art of Travel" a terrible book?
posted by borkingchikapa at 5:07 PM on November 5, 2006

Quixote, as he is decending into his dillusions wanders his estate gathering the things he needs to become a great knight. Many ordinary items and knick-knacks become, in his mind, grand finery.

Maybe this was the inspiration for later works like Voyage Around My Room? Early fan fiction?
posted by Pollomacho at 5:44 PM on November 5, 2006

Reading the description and reviews for Xavier de Maistre's Journey Around My Room, it sounds like Mocata was right. Thanks!
posted by Lush at 9:26 PM on June 16, 2007

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