Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Interview with Robert Pirsig

The Observer has an interview with Robert Pirsig, author of ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE:

When the book came out, in 1974, edited down from 800,000 words, and having been turned down by 121 publishers, it seemed immediately to catch the need of the time. George Steiner in the New Yorker likened it to Moby Dick. Robert Redford tried to buy the film rights (Pirsig refused). It has since taken on a life of its own, and though parts feel dated, its quest for meaning still seems urgent. For Pirsig, however, it has become a tragic book in some ways. At the heart of it was his relationship with his son, Chris, then 12, who himself, unsettled by his father's mania, seemed close to a breakdown. In 1979, aged 22, Chris was stabbed and killed by a mugger as he came out of the Zen Centre in San Francisco. Subsequent copies of the book have carried a moving afterword by Pirsig. 'I think about him, have dreams about him, miss him still,' he says now. 'He wasn't a perfect kid, he did a lot of things wrong, but he was my son...
Referral Source: Arts & Letters Daily

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