Journey Round My Room by Xavier de Maistre
Illustrated with Sixteen Photographs by Ross Anderson
Arion Press, 2007, Deluxe Limited Edition, 2 of 50
Includes a Two-Part Diorama Box with Viewing Ports Designed by Ross Anderson
MINT Condition – Still in the Publisher’s Original Packaging
This is a special limited edition of “Journey Round My Room” published by the Arion Press in 2007 with a limitation of 50 this being number 2. From the publisher, “Under the bibliographical heading of “Travel and Exploration” is a subhead, “Imaginary Journeys”. Here we have a book based on personal experience by a traveller who goes nowhere outside his living quarters, except in his imagination. The author, Xavier de Maistre, was born in 1763 at Chambéry in France. In 1790, as a young officer in the Piedmontese army, he participated in a duel. It is not known whether his opponent perished or was wounded; de Maistre records no injury to himself. As punishment he was confined to his own quarters in Turin for forty-two days. During that period of house arrest he wrote a book, a short work, but one that would have long influence and enjoy virtually uninterrupted publication to this day in its original French, as well as in translations.”
The Arion Press edition, edited and designed by Andrew Hoyem, is both historically allusive and keenly contemporary. The type is Suburban French, a face cut about 1911 and adapted for Monotype composition. It may have been based on a Didot type from around 1804 and bears resemblances to the elegant Romain du Roi of Grandjean for the Imprimerie Royale in 1702. The initial letters and display type on the title page are Gallia, produced by Lanston Monotype in 1928. This face was chosen because of its striping of thin-thick-thin lines and is printed in rose ink because of the preference of the author for bed-hangings in this color and pattern. That scheme is repeated on the binding cloth, with alternating rose and gray stripes. Rose, or pink, in one’s surroundings, de Maistre advises, ensures happiness. The printing is by letterpress, on Arches Text, a French mouldmade paper. The book is in a small format, 8-1/4 by 5-7/8 inches, 152 numbered pages plus 32 unnumbered pages for the illustrations, totaling 184 pages.
The illustrations are by the architect Ross Anderson. They are sixteen photographs of small models of the room, its furnishings, and the author’s travelling coat, taken with a cell-phone digital camera. These low-resolution pictures are printed on translucent UV/Ultra II paper by offset lithography. The result is an elusive evocation of an interior that becomes the vast expanse of the interior of the mind. The book has been signed by Ross Anderson
For the deluxe edition, Ross Anderson created a housing for the book. This is a box with portholes that allow the viewer to look inside. Light through the ceiling of the box illumines walls and floors of an abstract apartment that serves as the lid to the tray holding the book. It is an architectural model that might be called “the second story”.
A copy of the original prospectus will accompany the book.
The book and box are in MINT condition and still in the publisher’s original packaging.
A composite stock photograph of the book and box appear in the photo section of the listing.
About the Arion Press
Since its inception in 1974, the Arion Press has published 118 deluxe limited editions that are breathtaking in their scope and artistry. Combining notable literature illustrated with original artwork from prominent artists, Andrew Hoyem and his team at the Arion Press have carried on the tradition of the livre d’artiste in spectacular fashion. Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times put it best when he wrote, "The Arion Press produces some of the most beautiful limited-edition, hand printed books in the world."