Harper Academic

On Quality

An Inquiry into Excellence: Unpublished and Selected Writings

by Robert M. Pirsig, Wendy K. Pirsig

On Sale: 04/26/2022

Price: $26.99

On Quality

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On Quality

An Inquiry into Excellence: Unpublished and Selected Writings

by Robert M. Pirsig, Wendy K. Pirsig

On Sale: 04/26/2022

Format:

Price: $26.99

About the Book

Featuring long-awaited selections from Robert M. Pirsig's unpublished writings, from before and after Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, an original collection illuminating the central theme of Pirsig's thought: “Quality”

“The ultimate goal in the pursuit of excellence is enlightenment." —Robert M. Pirsig, 1962

More than a decade before the release of the book that would make him famous, Robert M. Pirsig had already caught hold of the central theme that would animate Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: “Quality,” a concept loosely likened to “excellence,” “rightness,” or “fitness” that Pirsig saw as kindred to the Buddhist ideas of “dharma” or the “Tao.” As he later wrote in Zen, “Quality is the Buddha.”

Though he was revered by fans who considered him a guru, the famously private Pirsig published only two books and consented to few interviews and almost no public appearances in later decades. Yet he wrote and thought almost continually, refining his “Metaphysics of Quality” until his death in 2017.

Now, for the first time, readers will be granted access to five decades of Pirsig’s personal writings in this posthumous collection that illuminates the evolution of his thinking to an unprecedented degree. Skillfully edited and introduced by Wendy K. Pirsig, Robert’s wife of four decades, the collection includes previously unpublished texts, speeches, letters, interviews, and private notes, as well as key excerpts from Zen and the Art of the Motorcycle Maintenance and his second book, Lila.

Since its publication in 1974, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has established itself as a modern classic of popular philosophy; selling millions of copies and inspiring a generation, while serving as a perennial touchstone for the generations that follow. On Quality is a remarkable contribution to our understanding of one of the most influential thinkers and writers of our time.

Critical Praise

"On Quality, a collection of Pirsig’s speeches, fiction, letters, and musings ... reads like a notebook from a life spent pondering: What does 'quality' mean? Why are some things better than others? What is it about humans that causes us to recognize the difference?" — The New Yorker

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Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063084643
  • ISBN 10: 0063084643
  • Imprint: Mariner Books
  • On Sale: 04/26/2022
  • Trimsize: 5.500 in (w) x 8.250 in (h) x 0.680 in (d)
  • Pages: 192
  • List Price: $26.99
  • BISAC1 : LITERARY COLLECTIONS / American / General
  • BISAC2 : PHILOSOPHY / Aesthetics
  • BISAC3 : PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy