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RIP - Robert M. Pirsig - Zen & The Art of MM
Old 04-28-2017, 03:07 PM   #1
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RIP - Robert M. Pirsig - Zen & The Art of MM

Born: September 6, 1928, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: April 24, 2017, South Berwick, Maine, United States


We were obligated to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in high school.

I know many people here on this forum are huge fans of the book. It did not grab me at the time (stupid teenager) but I must admit that it has stayed with me over the years and I have thought of it often.

Probably the truest sign of a great book and great writing.
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:42 PM   #2
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His name doesn't ring a bell with me, but that book title is registering somewhere in my memory repository, but don't ask me the gist of it.
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:46 PM   #3
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RIP Mr Pirsig. That was a favorite book.
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:46 PM   #4
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I actually read that book in my 20s. There was a lot of philosophy and Greek philosophical history I did not understand, but it was still fascinating.
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Old 04-28-2017, 08:17 PM   #5
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I know the title, never read it, and never really knew what it was about - but I always assumed there was a lot of philosophy derived from a seemingly simple task?

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Old 04-28-2017, 09:08 PM   #6
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Was his book similar to the famous "How to Keep Your Volkswagon Alive"? That book saved me a lot of dollars, though that was back in the day when all you needed was a set of socket wrenches and a few screwdrivers. I would static time the engine using a spare 12 volt light. Worked like a charm. Simpler cars for simpler days.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:05 PM   #7
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A friend highly recommended the book to me a few years ago. I guess I need to try and read it one more time. Honestly, it did nothing for me.
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Old 04-29-2017, 06:54 AM   #8
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If you're looking for a book to show you how to fix motorcycles, you need some other book.

If you're looking for a book that shows you how to fix motorcycles well, now you're on to something.

If you're looking for a book to explain the fundamentals of Zen philosophy, you probably need some other book.

If you're looking for a book that shows Zen doing its thing, now you're on to something...
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:10 AM   #9
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I tried to read it in my teens and couldn't get through it. It annoyed me. Figured it must be my fault.

Tried again to read it in my 30's, and found it just as pretentious and tedious as I had 20 years before.
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Old 04-29-2017, 08:24 AM   #10
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Read it twice and its on the table waiting for third time. I want to "get" it, but my puny mind won't allow it.
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Old 04-29-2017, 08:53 AM   #11
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I read a lot but sadly, not very much fiction. It is one of the dirty little secrets that I try to keep to myself, as I don't enjoy the looks and changes in attitude I get from others when they realize that I am not very well read. Once in a blue moon, I'll come across something light that captures me, such as David Sedaris' very entertaining auto-biographical stories but otherwise, it's mainly reading for reference and informative purposes. How terribly dull it sounds - I wish it were otherwise, but I cannot pretend to be someone I am not.

I was always familiar with the title "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". I did try to read it once, but it didn't keep my attention. That alone is not the mark of a poor read, more the mark of the dullard trying to read it (i.e. me!)

PS- I'm a lot like Frank, I think. There are quite a lot of things I want to "get" (like the fanaticism surrounding Star Wars, for example) but have to eventually admit that I don't.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:13 AM   #12
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A real classic from back in the day. Read it in my 20s and thoroughly enjoyed it, although it was occasionally some hard slogging. Read it a second time with the same result.
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:34 PM   #13
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Wasn't there a scene in there describing the looks on people's faces as they drove in the morning rush hour traffic: Paraphrasing : "Of course they all look dead and hopeless and depressed. They're on their way to work". I thought I read it, but, like many others here, I'm not sure!
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:36 PM   #14
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I liked the book and I am sad at his passing.
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