“Man on Wire” star Philippe Petit was welcomed by a packed auditorium for his discussion about his new book “Why Knot?” on Sunday at the L.A. Times Festival of Books.
Each member of the standing-room-only crowd was handed a piece of red rope as they entered the auditorium. The man who walked a tightrope between New York City's Twin Towers in 1974 called various people to the stage to help him with his demonstrations.
As a self-taught high-wire artist, knots have been a part of Petit’s life from a young age. He explained how he first started tying knots when he was about 5 or 6 years old, which soon led to him tying rope between trees, which eventually led to him experimenting with walking along these tightropes.
Knots are important to Petit because the success of these knots are what actually keep him alive. But more than that, to Petit, knots are poetry -- his favorite being the “simple and elegant” figure-eight knot.