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New Meetup: March Nonfiction Meetup

From: Frances
Sent on: Monday, February 1, 2010 12:21 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for The Denver Book Club!

What: March Nonfiction Meetup

When: Thursday, March 25,[masked]:00 PM

Price: $3.00 at the door

Where:
Denver Press Club
1330 Glenarm Place
Denver, CO 80204
(303)[masked]

Our March nonfiction book selection is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Persig.

As with all of our book selections, you can find the selection at most libraries and used book stores. Of course, the author naturally will thank you for buying the book new. For Amazon information, click here: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Persig.

As ever, you do not need to read all or any of the book to participate in our lively discussion. We ask $3 at the door to cover Press Club usage and our Meetup.com fee. No one will be turned away.

From Amazon.com Review - In his now classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig brings us a literary chautauqua, a novel that is meant to both entertain and edify. It scores high on both counts.

Phaedrus, our narrator, takes a present-tense cross-country motorcycle trip with his son during which the maintenance of the motorcycle becomes an illustration of how we can unify the cold, rational realm of technology with the warm, imaginative realm of artistry. As in Zen, the trick is to become one with the activity, to engage in it fully, to see and appreciate all details--be it hiking in the woods, penning an essay, or tightening the chain on a motorcycle.

In his autobiographical first novel, Pirsig wrestles both with the ghost of his past and with the most important philosophical questions of the 20th century--why has technology alienated us from our world? what are the limits of rational analysis? if we can't define the good, how can we live it? Unfortunately, while exploring the defects of our philosophical heritage from Socrates and the Sophists to Hume and Kant, Pirsig inexplicably stops at the middle of the 19th century. With the exception of Poincar?, he ignores the more recent philosophers who have tackled his most urgent questions, thinkers such as Peirce, Nietzsche (to whom Phaedrus bears a passing resemblance), Heidegger, Whitehead, Dewey, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Kuhn. In the end, the narrator's claims to originality turn out to be overstated, his reasoning questionable, and his understanding of the history of Western thought sketchy. His solution to a synthesis of the rational and creative by elevating Quality to a metaphysical level simply repeats the mistakes of the premodern philosophers. But in contrast to most other philosophers, Pirsig writes a compelling story. And he is a true innovator in his attempt to popularize a reconciliation of Eastern mindfulness and nonrationalism with Western subject/object dualism. The magic of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance turns out to lie not in the answers it gives, but in the questions it raises and the way it raises them. Like a cross between The Razor's Edge and Sophie's World, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance takes us into "the high country of the mind" and opens our eyes to vistas of possibility. --Brian Bruya


NEXT BOOK SELECTION:
Please vote on our April and May selections through the "Polls" function on the website. And please nominate books for future club selections by using our mailing list or by contacting Frances directly.

OUR REGULAR MEETUP LOCATION:
The Denver Press Club has offered us the use of their historic facility in downtown Denver for our meetups. By group decision, we meet the FOURTH THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH. As our Thanks, please patronize the establishment. The Press Club restaurant and bar opens at 5 PM, in case you wish to come early for dinner and possibly meet fellow readers or some of Denver's top journalists. We start our meeting at 7 PM. We're usually done by 8:30.

The oldest continuously operating press club in North America, the Denver Press Club is at 1330 Glenarm Place (across from the Denver Athletic Club).

Parking: There are a few spaces behind the building in the alley and a few more angle-in spaces on the north side of the building between the Press Club and the Colorado Press Association (free after 5 PM). If these are full, there are on-street parking meters and parking lots on each corner of the block (avoid the monthly parking spaces directly south of the building, however). The parking lot on the south corner is less expensive than the parking lot on the north corner.

SEE YOU on Thursday, March 25!

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/denverbookclub/calendar/12481354/

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