April 15th, 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. Part novel, part travelogue and part philosophical treatise, the book and its reclusive author shot to overnight meteoric success in 1974. Generations of avid fans have been deeply influenced by the book’s quest for quality and reminder that “the place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.” To mark the occasion of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’s 50th anniversary, on behalf of a forming Robert Pirsig Association (RPA), we are calling on fans, scholars, libraries, and learning and cultural institutions everywhere to take the celebration into their own hands, organizing as they see fit:
▪ Local chautauquas with speakers, testimonials, sharings and appreciations of the book and its author. [Speakers Bureau (TBA) – A list of possible speakers will be available for those able to host a special speaker.]
▪ Book Club readings of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. (Book Club guide)
▪ Creative events & endeavors to honor Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. We encourage everyone to follow the “track of Quality” and make their own unique contribution. Examples: (Art inspired by Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, videos, library displays with the various books by Pirsig and scholars, film screenings of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Touring documentary, essays, reflections or even poetry readings, etc.)
Once your event, activity or contribution is ready to be shared, you can submit it to the RPA #ZMM50th Contact Form for listing.
Also in the works for the #ZMM50th…
▪ “Zen and the Open Road” opens at The Smithsonian in Washington DC April 15, 2024, a small exhibit featuring Pirsig’s motorcycle and maritime memorabilia.
▪ Online Chautauqua Series sponsored by the RPA (TBA).
▪ Collecting ZMM Testimonials. Share these with the RPA using the General form.
▪ ZMM50th Ride Commemorative Ride in July for motorcyclists & other vehicles to retrace the Zen route with social gathering, sharing and chautauquas organized by local communities in each stop. (The route and original dates in 1968 were from Minneapolis July 8 to San Francisco July 24.)
▪ 50th Anniversary edition of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig with a new foreword written by Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work author Matthew B. Crawford will be published Feb 13, 2024 by Harper Collins.
▪ (Other events to be added as they are announced and shared.)