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Bikes, Pictures, Stories & more => Chat, Offtopic, Meetings & Everything Else => Topic started by: groily on 26.04. 2017 10:43

Title: Robert Pirsig RIP
Post by: groily on 26.04. 2017 10:43
For those who had a copy, or read it even, sad to see that Zen and the Art of etc's author (referred to hereabouts from time to time) has died.
Interesting bloke and an interesting obituary in the London Times, no less: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/register/robert-pirsig-vgm0jgvc6
Born 1928, so not a bad run I guess.
Weird book, I always thought, but didn't stop me having a copy back in the 70s. RIP.
Title: Re: Robert Pirsig RIP
Post by: Greybeard on 26.04. 2017 11:12
I read this book a few years ago. The first half is good but the book gets a bit weird as it goes on. Pirsig starts to discuss philosophical issues at great length that frankly went over my head, (I felt that my education was letting me down). I understand that the author was having a nervous breakdown when he was writing the book so maybe it's not suprising that the book becomes deeply involved with his introverted thoughts. I will read the book again and maybe get a bit more understanding of the second half.

One thing that I got from the book was that to fix a mechanical problem on a piece of machinery you need to study and understand it. This of course applies to life in general.

Wikipedia article about the book:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_and_the_Art_of_Motorcycle_Maintenance (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_and_the_Art_of_Motorcycle_Maintenance)

Pictures taken during their road trip along with appropriate text:
http://venturearete.org/ResearchProjects/ProfessorGurr/gallery/Pictures-Robert-Pirsigs-original-1968-trip (http://venturearete.org/ResearchProjects/ProfessorGurr/gallery/Pictures-Robert-Pirsigs-original-1968-trip)
Title: Re: Robert Pirsig RIP
Post by: cyclobutch on 26.04. 2017 11:39
Yes a weird book to be sure. I think I?ve taken maybe four stabs at it over the years and got through it possibly twice. Accepting the suggestions of significant breakdown that press down on you as the book progresses the main thrust, I think, was that there were two significantly different ways of viewing the world ? romantic vs classical. It?s outlined in the Wiki link anyway. It?s probably quite an interesting idea, if I could get my head around it more fully.

I guess anyone on this forum will all fit within the same point of view.

His boy who accompanies him on the trip in the book was subsequently stabbed to death in his twenties. A troubled lad I think.
Title: Re: Robert Pirsig RIP
Post by: duTch on 27.04. 2017 09:55

 I think I've said before that it took me a couple of goes to struggle through it, mostly because I expected some kind of Bruce Lee meets Peter Fonda/ Dennis Hopper meets Stone/'My name is Bruce' liaison which obviously didn't happen, but by the time I succumbed to that wasn't how it is, I kinda got the drift, but when I think about it 'Phaedra/us' is what comes most to mind; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbadg5BAb1E (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbadg5BAb1E)

Quote
His boy who accompanies him on the trip in the book was subsequently stabbed to death in his twenties. A troubled lad I think.

 where'd you get the notion he was 'troubled' ?
Title: Re: Robert Pirsig RIP
Post by: RichardL on 27.04. 2017 16:04

Quote
His boy who accompanies him on the trip in the book was subsequently stabbed to death in his twenties. A troubled lad I think.

 where'd you get the notion he was 'troubled' ?

From the New York Times:

(Mr. Pirsig?s son Chris was later also found to be mentally ill and institutionalized. He died in 1979 after being stabbed in a mugging outside the San Francisco Zen center where he had been living.)

I think the term "institutionalized" is often overdramatized and used for affect. Nevertheless, "troubled' seems probably appropriate. I need to re-read the book to get a new perspective on Chris.

Richard L.