Pirsig’s second book, Lila, if you hadn’t gathered, is about a boat trip, though it seems more a matter of drifting around than a purposeful excursion (though he stops off to do some business in New York, or rather not do some business, as he decides to not allow Hollywood to make a ZAMM movie because it will be inevitably dumbed down beyond recognition). Well, here he is talking about his boat, and a different trip he took to cross the Atlantic (“right where the Titanic was sunk,” he notes). As a bonus, the introduction is by John Sutherland, the musician who travels with Pirsig during the early part of ZAMM.
Not much of philosophical interest here, though I like that Sutherland says that Pirsig should do some travel writing, and if he wants to throw some philosophy in there, he could do that… as if, from Sutherland’s point of view, the philosophical part was just a bit of self-indulgence crammed into this travelogue. I can certainly picture a movie version (Pirsig describes talking with Robert Redford about adapting it; I could picture it as a new Clint Eastwood-directed thing) of ZAMM sort of like A Beautiful Mind, where the philosophy is brought in only so much as is necessary to define the protagonist’s character, and the focus is on the landscapes and the emotional relationships between father and son and the other characters. Personally, I think such a movie would be a boon: it would certainly renew attention on the original book and get the ideas discussed further. …Or maybe it would just be a bust.