Mark Richardson: Zen and Now

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Richardson, Mark. Zen and Now: On the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (New York: Knopf, 2008)

Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a whirlwind of philosophy, travelogue, and a defense of auto-didactic intellectualism all rolled into one. It's also--in a seeming contradiction--an indelibly memorable book that inspires multiple re-readings, and has even driven fans to make cross-country motorcycle trips along the protagonist's route of discovery. What is it about ZAMM that inspires such devoted enthusiasm?

Mark Richardson is a fellow ZAMM reader, so intrigued by the book that he decided to retrace Pirsig's travels from Minnesota to California on his motorcycle "Jackie New." Richardson combines the narrative of his ride with the story of Pirsig's life and book. After you read (or re-read) ZAMM, Richardson's Zen and Now would be a good next choice. The words with which he ended the Afterword echo my thoughts as well:

Robert Pirsig's remarkable book changed my life in numerous ways. I hope that you'll seek it out and give it an opportunity to change your life, too. (p. 274)


links:
Wikipedia on Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
ZAMM text
Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality website
Pirsig interviewed by Julian Baggini
All sorts of ZAMM stuff from Henry Gurr

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on June 2, 2009 10:55 AM.

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