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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Product no.: 0-553-27747-2
It will change the way you think and feel about your life. The cycle you're working on is a cycle called "yourself", Robert M. Pirsig says.

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Publisher's Synopsis
A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, the book becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live. The narrator's relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning; the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism.

Reviews
"Profoundly important ...full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas.. It is intellectual entertainment of the highest order."     ~The New York Times

"It lodges in the mind as few recent novels have... The book is inspired, original... the narrative tact, the perfect economy of effect defy criticism. The analogies with Moby Dick are patent. Robert Pirsig invites the prodigious comparison. What more can one say?"      ~The New Yorker

Excerpt
"The hypothetical student, still a mule, would drift around for a while. He would get another kind of education quite as valuable as the one he’d abandoned, in what used to be called the 'school of hard knocks.' Instead of wasting money and time as a high-status mule, he would now have to get a job as a low-status mule, maybe as a mechanic. Actually his real status would go up. He would be making a contribution for a change. Maybe that’s what he would do for the rest of his life. Maybe he’d found his level. But don’t count on it.

In time six months; five years, perhaps a change could easily begin to take place. He would become less and less satisfied with a kind of dumb, day-to-day shopwork. His creative intelligence, stifled by too much theory and too many grades in college, would now become re-awakened by the boredom of the shop. Thousands of hours of frustrating mechanical problems would have made him more interested in machine design. He would like to design machinery himself. He’d think he could do a better job. He would try modifying a few engines, meet with success, look for more success, but feel blocked because he didn’t have the theoretical information, he’d now find a brand of theoretical information which he’d have a lot of respect for, namely, mechanical engineering.

So he would come back to our degreeless and gradeless school, but with a difference. He’d no longer be a grade-motivated person. He’d be a knowledge-motivated person. He would need no external pushing to learn. His push would come from inside. He’d be a free man. He wouldn’t need a lot of discipline to shape him up. In fact, if the instructors were slacking on the job he would be likely to shape them up by asking rude questions. He’d be there to learn something, would be paying to learn something and they’d better come up with it."

Author Pirsig, Robert
Book Type Mass Market Paperback
Page Count 436 pp.
Publisher Bantam Books 1981
Browse these categories as well: Self-Help and Relationships, Inspirational Poetry, Prose and Sacred Art, Visionary Fiction, Eastern Buddhism and Zen Masters

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