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.
Adapted from an 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.
Persig, 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 essay, Pirsig wrestles both with the tormented ghost of his past (whom he names Phaedrus, after the character in Plato's dialogue) 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? What is quality? (We know it when we see but cannot define it) If we can't define the good, how can we live it?
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.
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 lots on 13th Street ares less expensive than the parking lots on 14th Street.
SEE YOU on Thursday, March 25!