Author Topic: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance  (Read 634 times)

Online Greybeard

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Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« on: 30.10. 2015 18:13 »
I remember thinking when his book came out that the good Mr Pirsig must have been taking stuff I couldn't afford - but can't recall a lot more about it Graybeard to be honest!
I read it a few years ago. In my opinion the early chapters are great but as the book progresses it gets more and more opaque. Looks like Pirsig was having problems.  *countdown*
From Wikipedia:
Pirsig suffered a nervous breakdown and spent time in and out of psychiatric hospitals between 1961 and 1963. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and clinical depression as a result of an evaluation conducted by psychoanalysts, and was treated with electroconvulsive therapy on numerous occasions, a treatment he discusses in his novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Offline a10gf

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #1 on: 30.10. 2015 20:34 »
Written in 74, so author should (maybe) be ok, I would be very suspicious if written in early 60's, with author locked-up in psychiatric ward :O)

btw, never read it, maybe should, curious what the fuzz is all about.

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Online terryg

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #2 on: 31.10. 2015 08:28 »
Sounds like Pirsig needed an A10 rather than that 350 Honda (have I remembered that right?)

Edit - although my A10s drive me mad sometimes.
Terry
'57 'SR', '59 SR, '63 RGS

Offline duTch

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #3 on: 31.10. 2015 14:20 »

 I had the notion he was on some kind of Beemer *dunno2*...read (struggled thorugh) it when I was about 18 or 19 but all I remember is him slapping his youngster on the knee to look at the geese *conf*, and something 'bout Phædra
Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
Have a '74 850T Moto Guzzi since '92-best thing I ever bought doesn't need a kickstart 'cos it bump starts sooooooooo(mostly) easy
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Offline jachenbach

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #4 on: 31.10. 2015 14:54 »
Never rear the book, but references in various magazines have said he rode a 305 Superhawk. I had one of those in high school (1970-72) and the longest trip I took was to New Jersey (probably 120 miles one way). I can't imagine riding across the USA on one. Then again, at lower speeds maybe the vibration wouldn't be as bad. Being young (and dumb) I generally had the throttle pinned. Currently have one in the shed awaiting it's turn at resurrection.

Offline Kickaha

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #5 on: 31.10. 2015 21:30 »
I read it 20+ years ago and thought it was crap and couldn't understand why people were raving about it, might try it again and see if I revise my opinion
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Online chaterlea25

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #6 on: 31.10. 2015 21:58 »
Hi All,
Quote
I read it 20+ years ago and thought it was crap

Probably longer ago than that I tried and failed to read it, utter bollox!!

John
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Online bsa-bill

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #7 on: 31.10. 2015 22:19 »
Quote
I read it 20+ years ago and thought it was crap and couldn't understand why people were raving about it

Was a lot of mails around it on (I think) the brit-iron list many moons ago, I never read it, the feeling I got from the mails  was that I wouldn't want to.
Wondered last month at a talk on Dark matter whether maybe they'd read the book ( "we don't know what it is or what it does but we know it's there")
They think  it might maybe possible somehow hold stuff together, got to get me some *smile*
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Online Greybeard

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #8 on: 31.10. 2015 22:21 »
They think  it might maybe possible somehow hold stuff together, got to get me some *smile*
That's duct tape!

Online bsa-bill

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #9 on: 01.11. 2015 09:31 »
Quote
That's duct tape!

I'll pass that on to Stephen Hawking
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Offline edboy

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #10 on: 01.11. 2015 21:23 »
no point , he uses string theory to hold his trousers up.

Offline KeithJ

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #11 on: 03.11. 2015 17:01 »
"Zen and now"

It took me a couple of attempts to get through the book and I did not find it a light read which I could easily put down and pick up again.

I don’t know if it is a well written book but I thought it was a man telling a story about his journeys both in life and on bikes. 

One aspect was riding an old bike, I think was a Harley.  It required understanding, care and attention to ensure it ran well.  His friend for part of the journey was on a modern BMW and he did not have a feeling for the bike, he just rode it and took it in for someone else to fix.  Hence, there was the comparison about these two “philosophies”. 

He was a teacher of Philosophy and had mental issues.  Philosophy was a key part of his life and his mental issues gave him a different perspective on this.  I hadn’t even heard of Phaedrus before reading but not sure I am any wiser being more award of him. 

His other journey was his personal one though life.  He explores his mental state, how it impacted his family relationships and his employment are also part of his journey. 

Just looked on the web and found:
"It is a work of philosophical non-fiction, the first of Robert M. Pirsig's texts in which he explores his Metaphysics of Quality.”

Just my thoughts.

Now off to continue my journey of rebuilding my A10. 
'59 A10RR + Second engine

Offline Kickaha

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #12 on: 03.11. 2015 17:40 »
They think  it might maybe possible somehow hold stuff together, got to get me some *smile*
That's duct tape!

Gorilla Tape is far better
1955 BSA Gold Flash
New Zealand

Online RichardL

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #13 on: 03.11. 2015 17:44 »
They think  it might maybe possible somehow hold stuff together, got to get me some *smile*
That's duct tape!

Gorilla Tape is far better

So, basically, we are into a philosophical discussion on the quality of duct tape.  ('Duct" being a generic term for tape used to seal or repair ductwork. It's not a brand, though there is a brand called "Duck".)
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Online Greybeard

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Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
« Reply #14 on: 03.11. 2015 18:48 »
So, basically, we are into a philosophical discussion on the quality of duct tape.
Do you have a problem with that?