Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten: (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values)

Overview

The modern epic that transformed a generation and continues to inspire millions — a penetrating examination of how we live and how to live better.

A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance 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 ...

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Overview

The modern epic that transformed a generation and continues to inspire millions — a penetrating examination of how we live and how to live better.

A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance 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. Resonant with the confusions of existence, this classic is a touching and transcendent book of life.

This new edition is updated with important typographical changes, a penetrating new introduction, and a Reader's Guide that includes an interview with Pirsig and letters and documents detailing how this extraordinary book came to be.

The extraordinary story of a man's quest for truth. 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. The study of the art of motorcycle maintainence is really a study of the art of rationality itself. Working on a motorcycle, working well, caring, is to become part of a process, to achieve an inner peace of mind. The motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon. The book details a cross-country motorcycle trip by a man and his 11-year-old son, as well as his quest for truth.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
Profoundly important... full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas... It is intellectual entertainment of the highest order.
New York Times Book Review
Profoundly important... full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas... It is intellectual entertainment of the highest order.
New York Times
New Yorker
It lodges in the mind as few recent novels have... The book is inspiredoriginal... As the mountains gentle toward the sea—with father and child locked in a ghostly grip—the narrative tactthe perfect economy of effect defy criticism... The analogies with Moby Dick are patent. Robert Pirsig invites the prodigious comparison... What more can one say?"
Village Voice
It's a miracle.. sparkles like an electric dream. Freshnessoriginality... that seduces you into loving motorcyclesas tender in their pistons as the petals in the Buddah's dawn lotus.
New York Times Book Review
Profoundly important... full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas... It is intellectual entertainment of the highest order. -- The New York Times
The New York Times
Profoundly important... full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas... It is intellectual entertainment of the highest order.
The New Yorker
It lodges in the mind as few recent novels have... The book is inspired, original... As the mountains gentle toward the sea--with father and child locked in a ghostly grip--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 Village Voice
It's a miracle.. sparkles like an electric dream. Freshness, originality... that seduces you into loving motorcycles, as tender in their pistons as the petals in the Buddah's dawn lotus.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783596220205
  • Publisher: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag
  • Language: German
  • Edition description: German Edition
  • Pages: 442

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I can see by my watch without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle, that it is eight-thirty in the morning. The wind, even at sixty miles an hour, is warm and humid. When it's this hot and muggy at eight-thirty, I'm wondering what it's going to be like in the afternoon.

In the wind are pungent odors from the marshes by the road. We are in an area of the Central Plains filled with thousands of duck hunting sloughs, heading northwest from Minneapolis toward the Dakotas. This highway is an old concrete two-laner that hasn't had much traffic since a four-laner went in parallel to it several years ago. When we pass a marsh the air suddenly becomes cooler. Then, when we are past, it suddenly warms up again.

I'm happy to be riding back into this country. It is a kind of nowhere, famous for nothing at all and has an appeal because of just that. Tensions disappear along old roads like this. We bump along the beat-up concrete between the cattails and stretches of meadow and then more cattails and marsh grass. Here and there is a stretch of open water and if you look closely you can see wild ducks at the edge of the cattails. And turtles. . . . There's a red-winged blackbird.

I whack Chris's knee and point to it, "What!" he hollers.

"Blackbird!"

He says something I don't hear. "What?" I holler back. He grabs the back of my helmet and hollers up, "I've seen lots of those, Dad!"

"Oh!" I holler back. Then I nod. At age eleven you don't get very impressed with red-winged blackbirds.

You have to get older for that. For me this is all mixed with memories that he doesn't have. Cold mornings long ago when the marsh grass had turned brown andcattails were waving in the northwest wind. The pungent smell then was from muck stirred up by hip boots while we were getting in position for the sun to come up and the duck season to open. Or winters when the sloughs were frozen over and dead and I could walk across the ice and snow between the dead cat-tails and see nothing but grey skies and dead things and cold. The blackbirds were gone then. But now in July they're back and everything is at its alivest and every foot of these sloughs is humming and cricking and buzzing and chirping, a whole community of millions of living things living out their lives in a kind of benign continuum.

You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.

Chris and I are traveling to Montana with some friends riding up ahead, and maybe headed farther than that. Plans are deliberately indefinite, more to travel than to arrive anywhere. We are just vacationing. Secondary roads are preferred. Paved county roads are the best, state highways are next. Freeways are the worst. We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with emphasis on "good" rather than "time" and when you make that shift in emphasis the whole approach changes. Twisting hilly roads are long in terms of seconds but are much more enjoyable on a cycle where you bank into turns and don't get swung from side to side in any compartment. Roads with little traffic are more enjoyable, as well as safer. Roads free of drive-ins and billboards are better, roads where groves and meadows and orchards and lawns come almost to the shoulder, where kids wave to you when you ride by, where people look from their porches to see who it is, where when you stop to ask directions or information the answer tends to be longer than you want rather than short, where people ask where you're from and how long you've been riding.It was some years ago that my wife and I and our friends first began to catch on to these roads. We took them once in a while for variety or for a shortcut to another main highway, and each time the scenery was grand and we left the road with a feeling of relaxation and enjoyment. We did this time after time before realizing what should have been obvious: these roads are truly different from the main ones. The whole pace of life and personality of the people who live along them are different. They're not going anywhere.

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