In Borges’s story, the Aleph is a synonym for infinity, a point that contains all other points in space. Peering into it, one can see into the far corners of the universe and beyond. Reading de Maistre’s Voyage is a similarly vertiginous experience: one can visualize the spirit of the counter-Enlightenment as it vies for a trajectory of its own among those occupied by the bêtes and the offspring of science. The cloistered Count turns into something Borges would have recognized from his own encounters with silence: a kind of Aleph, however unworthy — a door to the infinite.

Los Angeles Review of Books

Voyage Around My Room

Nonfiction by Xavier de Maistre

Translated from the French by Stephen Sartarelli

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published March 21, 2016)

ISBN
9780811212809
Price US
14.95
Price CN
19.5
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
224

Ebook (published March 21, 2016)

ISBN
9780811222341

Xavier de Maistre

18th Century French writer

In Borges’s story, the Aleph is a synonym for infinity, a point that contains all other points in space. Peering into it, one can see into the far corners of the universe and beyond. Reading de Maistre’s Voyage is a similarly vertiginous experience: one can visualize the spirit of the counter-Enlightenment as it vies for a trajectory of its own among those occupied by the bêtes and the offspring of science. The cloistered Count turns into something Borges would have recognized from his own encounters with silence: a kind of Aleph, however unworthy — a door to the infinite.

Los Angeles Review of Books

De Maistre pioneered a mode of travel that was to make his name: room travel. Dressed in pink-and-blue pajamas, satisfied within the confines of his own bedroom, Xavier de Maistre was gently nudging us to try, before taking off for distant hemispheres, to notice what we have already seen.

—Alain de Botton

The late eighteenth century is when modernity (more exactly, the modernities) began. Sterne, Diderot, Rousseau… among the effortlessly brilliant writers of that incandescent era, there still remains Xavier de Maistre to discover or rediscover. His masterpiece, Voyage Around My Room, is one of the most original and mettlesome autobiographical narratives ever written.

—Susan Sontag