Traveling in Place: A History of Armchair Travel

(Author) (Translator)
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Product Details
University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
5.86 X 0.86 X 8.78 inches | 0.95 pounds
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About the Author
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.
"In this fascinating book, Bernd Stiegler turns modern travel inside out to offer us a history of armchair exploration. From chapter to chapter, he takes us through a rich series of modern travel narratives to convey how intricately the domestic interior and the global expanse have been interwoven. We learn a great deal about the microcosmic operations of travel as a narrative form, and about the odd delights and uncanny estrangements--for the imaginative--of staying home."
--Robin Kelsey, Harvard University
"Bernd Stiegler's rich snapshots of traveling in place are a long overdue addition to the history of modern travel. Here we see Robinson Crusoe in relief: not the lost soul on a far-off tropical island but the intrepid explorers of the close at hand, recounting their arduous journeys through rooms, pockets, purses, desks, and drawers. Traveling in Place is a thought-provoking Wunderkammer of small distances."
--Andrew Piper, author of Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times
"Bernd 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. Stiegler shows the degree to which the room of the writer has become a microcosm, already stocked with enough exotic detail to place itself at the infinite disposal of our curiosity. The book suggests that no matter how far any wandering sightseer might travel, what really embarks on the trek is our imagination."--Christian Bök, author of Euonia
"In this esoteric but inspiring work, Stiegler forces us to consider the beauty and uniqueness of our common abodes. . . . The locations of Stiegler's brief chapters or 'legs' range from monastic cells to the artist's studio, with authors including Samuel Beckett and Walter Benjamin. Although the reason for these travelogues ranges from sickness to boredom, they tell us more about their authors than any other genre. With unmatched uniqueness and stunning insightfulness, Stiegler gives readers of a philosophical bent noteworthy food for thought."--Booklist
"An informative and entertaining volume that introduces the reader to a new genre of travel literature. Recommended."--Choice