In the company of Zen

“As Robert Pirsig has his second novel Lila reissued, John Freeman meets the author who for decades has been a thorn in the side of academic philosophers.”

From the London Times:

Zenamm2m_3Robert Pirsig has a bone to pick with philosophers. As his era-defining memoir Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance levitated up the bestseller lists in 1974, all he heard from them was grumbling.

This story of a father-son motorcycle trip across America was just a skeleton of a philosophy, they said. What exactly was this “metaphysics of quality” he kept talking about? And who was he to tell them about it? Seventeen years later Pirsig gave his answer and it came in the form of a 500-page novel, Lila: An Inquiry into Morals. Now, at last, the thinkers of the world had something to tinker with. Their response? “Silence. They have just given me zero support and great hostility,” Pirsig says on the eve of the novel’s reissue in Britain.

“It’s just they don’t say anything.” Now, Pirsig believes that he has one last shot at explaining his philosophy to the public, and if it means coming out of seclusion, so be it.

More here.