In this bestselling new book, his first in seventeen years, Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, takes us on a poignant and passionate journey as mysterious and compelling as his first life-changing work.
Instead of a motorcycle, a sailboat carries his philosopher-narrator Phaedrus down the Hudson River as winter closes in. Along the way he picks up a most unlikely traveling companion: a woman named Lila who in her desperate sexuality, hostility, and oncoming madness threatens to disrupt his life.
In Lila Robert M. Pirsig has crafted a unique work of adventure and ideas that examines the essential issues of the nineties as his previous classic did the seventies.
Seventeen years after the publication of his still-popular road story/philosophical meditation, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance , Pirsig offers another lengthy and absorbing investigation of how we can live well and rightly. Phaedrus, the one-named narrator ``who had written a whole book on values,'' is sailing down the Hudson River when he meets Lila Blewitt, an unapologetically sexual, psychologically unstable woman whom a mutual friend warns him against. But Phaedrus is drawn to her physically and interested in her intellectually, finding her ``a culture of one'' in whom he discerns an unexpected ``Quality.'' Sailing with him to Manhattan, where her mental state deteriorates further, Lila prompts Phaedrus to explore conflicts of values like those between Native Americans and Europeans or between the insane and the normal. Finally, after years of struggling, he formulates his ``Metaphysics of Quality'' which offers a system of understanding--and evaluating--actions according to a hierarchy of four evolutionary realms (natural, biological, social and intellectual). Though Lila's fate is left unresolved, Pirsig's wide-ranging philosophical explorations will provoke and engage readers.
This novel not only tells an interesting but also offers a useful and interesting perspective on a number of topics and concepts. If you liked Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, you will thoroughly enjoy Lila!