Like many landmark publications, Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance traveled a difficult course before becoming one of the most widely-read books on philosophy ever written: It holds a Guinness Book record as the most rejected book of all time, having been denied publication a spectacular 121 times. Pirsig penned much of his philosophical quest while living in East Lake Street's Roberts Shoes building and working as a tech writer under contract to Honeywell. Zen tells the tale of Pirsig's 17-day motorcycle ride across the U.S. with his son and two close friends, Sylvia and John Sutherland. Along the way, he grapples with the meaning of quality, ethical emotivism, and philosophical science, all while he walks a line between mental stability and insanity. In celebration of the 35th anniversary of its publication, local writers Steve Marsh (Mpls.St.Paul Magazine), Marya Hornbacher (Madness), and others will discuss the cultural impact of the book, and read from their favorite passages. Have a favorite paragraph yourself? Bring your copy to read to the group. The event will also feature a screening of On the Road with Robert Pirsig.
Fri., Feb. 27, 8 p.m., 2009