Wednesday 1 April 2020

voyage autour de ma chamber

Via Cynical-C, we are invited to indulge the travelogue and memoir by revolutionary army officer Xavier de Maistre (*1763 – †1852) penned whilst he was confined to quarters for six weeks (forty-two days) as punishment for participating in an illegal duel.
Serving his sentence without stint nor quarrel, this is the sort of reflective appreciation that we could all take a cue from—especially when so many are not afforded the same luxury—de Maistre satirises the traditional gap year, grand tour narrative accorded to young men of sufficient rank of the continent and journeys about his suite of rooms as if his furnishings were exotic locations. The work is not only the author’s amblings and impressions but also really engages the imagination of his audience in a sympathetic manner—surprising as de Maistre never expected to have a readership and had no intention to publish it, but his brother was so taken with the account, he had it put in print.