- Hardcover: 600 pages
- Publisher: Authorhouse (Jan. 1 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1403357544
- ISBN-13: 978-1403357540
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,520,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Lila's Child: An Inquiry Into Quality Hardcover – Jan 1 2003
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About the Author
Robert M. Pirsig was born in 1928 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He studied chemistry and philosophy (B.A., 1950) and journalism (M.A., 1958) at the University of Minnesota and also attended Benares Hindu University in India, where he studied Oriental philosophy. He is also the author of this book's sequel, entitled Lila.
Top customer reviews
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This book is no Pirsig "lovefest." Dissenters abound in the discussions, many of whom are quite intelligent and learned. Pirsig's well-reasoned responses to the best dissenters provide some of the book's greatest insights.
By integrating the age-old wisdom of the most enlightened Buddhist and mystic philosophers into a rational, scientific, metaphysical framework, the Metaphysics of Quality may be the greatest intellectual achievement of the 20th century. Lila's Child, the third in the trilogy started by Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila, is an important work to help integrate this achievement into our intellectual culture.
Even if it were interesting, why someone would pay good money to read these postings as a book instead of for free over the internet...is hard to understand, unless the notes Pirsig adds makes them worth it. And quality annotations would be highly valued by anyone interested in the Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ) - Pirsig's muddled, re-packaged form of idealism that could dearly use some clarity. But Pirsig mostly misses this opportunity and manages only a scant clarification here and there, such as when he expresses his desire to reverse the impression left in Lila that all moral issues can be solved with his system, or when he categorically states that only people, and not animals, are social patterns of value under the MOQ.
A typical notation of Pirsig's consists of one or two clipped sentences that do little or nothing to further understanding, except perhaps in the overactive imagination of some readers, and on a couple of occasions he appears distressingly detached from his own ideas, such as when he makes a statement that is prefaced by the qualifier, 'If I understand the MOQ properly,...'.
The book does manage to capture some of the excitement of a crusading bunch who are under the illusion that Pirsig's ideas will change the world, although it becomes exasperatingly apparent that no two people can exactly agree to what those ideas are, or how they should be applied. One contributor, Doug Renselle, went on to invent Quantonics, an offshoot of the MOQ that is a worthy addition to the burgeoning field of psychoceramics.
Dan Glover does a serviceable job of rearranging the posts to make them more readable, and Struan Hellier makes some incisive comments, but beyond that the book is notable only for its confusions, illogic, and philosophical stabs in the dark.
He made us wait over fifteen years before releasing the sequel to ZMM, a book called LILA, published in 1991. It was a much more intellectual book than ZMM, and therefore not as popular, but many people found its ideas utterly fascinating. A website was formed by a small group of intelligent folks who wanted a place on the internet to discuss LILA and philosophy. That was over six years ago. The website is still around (thanks Horse!) and the discussions continue. It is the only website endorsed by Pirsig himself (he mentions it in the 25th anniversary edition of ZMM).
LILA'S CHILD contains the first year's worth of discussions from the website, painstakingly compiled and superbly edited by Dan Glover. It is a fascinating repository of debate and discourse, and indispensable to current and future fans of Pirsig. Although he didn't directly participate in the original discussions, the entire book is annotated by Pirsig, who offers his personal insights on the topics of discussion, and (at some points) critiques the views of individual participants. His annotations contain new insights and personal opinions not found in ZMM or LILA. Here we have pure Pirsig.
LILA'S CHILD is a fitting and satisfying conclusion to the trilogy which began with ZMM and continued on with LILA. As with those two books, LILA'S CHILD is a book that can be picked up and read over and over again and new gems of insights discovered each time. Pirsig fans will not be disappointed. Thank you, Dan Glover, for making it happen.
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