PIRSIG, Robert M. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. London: The Bodley Head., 1974.
8vo., original brown cloth lettered in gilt to spine; unclipped pictorial dust jacket with design by John Sewell; pp. 412, [iv]; slight offsetting to end papers; contemporary ownership name and date in ink pen to the front paste-down (obscured by the dust jacket); some faint discolouration to pastedowns and endpapers, rubbed-out pencil markings to ffep and pp. 19-26, jacket a little chipped to spine ends and corner folds; very good, in the vibrant, unfaded wrapper.
First English edition of this cult classic. Pirsig's fictionalised autobiography had struggled to find a publisher, and had been rejected over 126 times before its release in 1974. With its combination of philosophical discussions and simple narrative of a road trip between father and son, it became an instant success and quickly sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Pirsig explores questions about the nature of quality, the relationship between technology and human values, and the meaning of "Zen" in the context of a Western philosophical inquiry. He works to argue that the pursuit of quality is a central aspect of life and that it has profound implications for how we approach art, technology, and the human experience.