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Mon, May 19, 2014

Harvard Book Store Presents (Past Events)Special Events Archive

Philippe Petit

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Philippe Petit discusses Creativity: The Perfect Crime

$5 tickets on sale April 22 at Harvard.com. Unable to attend? Order the book(s) or pre-order a signed copy from Harvard Book Store. No Brattle Passes.

Harvard Book Store welcomes famed high-wire artist PHILIPPE PETIT for a discussion of his new book Creativity: The Perfect Crime.

Since well before his epic 1974 walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, Philippe Petit had become an artist who answered first and foremost to the demands of his craft—not only on the high wire, but also as a magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, and writer. A born rebel like many creative people, he was from an early age a voracious learner who taught himself, cultivating the attitudes, resources, and techniques to tackle even seemingly impossible feats. His outlaw sensibility spawned a unique approach to the creative process—an approach he shares, with characteristic enthusiasm, irreverence, and originality in Creativity: The Perfect Crime.

Making the reader his accomplice, Petit reveals new and unconventional ways of going about the artistic endeavor, from generating and shaping ideas to practicing and problem-solving to pulling off the “coup” itself—executing a finished work. The strategies and insights he shares will resonate with performers of every stripe (actors, musicians, dancers) and practitioners of the non-performing arts (painters, writers, sculptors), and also with ordinary mortals in search of fresh ways of tackling the challenges and possibilities of everyday existence.

“I enjoyed the organization of chaos, the boldness of ideas, the insanity of Philippe’s visions, the extreme discipline of planning, and the passion of the feat. It inspires to create not only on a sound concept, but also on a whim or a spark.  I was thoroughly able to identify with his highs and lows and it was a great pleasure to have one so freewheeling put his methods down in a completely personal way.” —Julie Taymor


Philippe Petit has been Artist-in-Residence of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for more than 30 years and has performed on the high wire more than 80 times around the world. He also lectures, practices magic, and street juggles—for which he has been arrested over 500 times. He is the author of several books, including To Reach the Clouds, the inspiration for the Academy Award-winning 2008 documentary Man on Wire, and, most recently, Why Knot? He has been a featured speaker at TED and other national venues, and he also walks on the wire and does street performances whenever (and wherever) he likes. He lives in upstate New York.

  • Special Screening and Book Signing! Author Karina Longworth in Person! BOMBSHELL • Monday 12/17 at 7:00