Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


And it occurred to me there is no manual that deals with the real business of motorcycle maintenance, the most important aspect of all. Caring about what you are doing is considered either unimportant or taken for granted. 

Robert Pirsig's 1974 classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has sold over 5 million copies and inspired many - not including one unmechanically-minded  friend of mine, who commented "Not enough Zen and too much motorcycle maintenance".  It's an iconoclastic, non-academic philosophical enquiry into life. Pirsig's own answer - Quality - is elusive enough to understand to stimulate more re-reading and discussion.  What did I get from the book? The idea that we can take part in our own philosophical quest, and that the journey may be as important as the destination. Have a browse through these resources, read the book and the follow up Lila: An Inquiry into Morals and make up your own mind.

 External Resources
Complete text of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance online

MOQ.org  forum for the discussion of
Robert M Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality - serious and well-constructed UK site

Rhetoric and Madness: Robert Pirsig's Inquiry into Value   - essay which conludes "if we can learn from his example, we may achieve the courage to seek out own wholeness through struggle and growth."

Quality - includes some quotes from Zen and ...

1974 interview with Robert Pirsig

1992 Pirsig Interview discussing Lila

Essay on Zen & the art of motor cycle maintenance

2006 article in the London Times

Wikipedia entry  Zen & the Art of MotorCycle Maintenance