Cover image for Guidebook to Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
Title:
Guidebook to Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
Author:
DiSanto, Ronald L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : W. Morrow, 1990.
Physical Description:
407 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780688084615

9780688060695
Format :
Book

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CT275.P6483 D57 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

When Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was first published in 1974, it cased a literary sensation. A combination of philosophical speculation and psychological tension, the book is a complex story of relationships, values, madness, and enlightenment. The guide serves as a metaphorical backpack of supplies for the reader's journey through the original work. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.


Summary

When Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was first published in 1974, it caused a literary sensation. An entire generation was profoundly affected by the story of the narrator, his son, Chris, and their month-long motorcycle odyssey from Minnesota to California. A combination of philosophical speculation and psychological tension, the book is a complex story of relationships, values, madness, and, eventually, enlightenment.

Ron Di Santo and Tom Steele have spent years investigating the background and underlying symbolism of Pirsig's work. Together, and with the approval of Robert Pirsig, they have written a fascinating reference/companion to the original.

Guidebook to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance serves as a metaphorical backpack of supplies for the reader's journey through the original work. With the background material, insights, and perspectives the authors provide, Guidebook to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is destined to become required reading for new fans of the book as well as those who have returned to it over the years.


Reviews 3

Choice Review

DiSanto and Steele have produced a valuable study guide to Robert Pirsig's psychological-philosophical novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (CH, Jul'74). The first half of this thick guidebook consists chiefly of "A Philosophical Backpack": chapters devoted to Eastern and Western philosophy, which most readers will find intellectually demanding and rhetorically annoying. DiSanto, the author of these chapters, has brilliantly summarized and compared a host of relevant major philosophical positions but has marred his analyses with scores of unintentionally condescending questions and suggestions--e.g., "What do you think?" and "Perhaps you might be interested in developing that analogy." Besides a chronology and map of the novel's journey, this guide further includes previously unpublished sections of Pirsig's manuscript, a lengthy letter from Pirsig to Robert Redford (who was then considering filming the book), nearly 100 pages of reprinted book reviews and scholarly articles, and an annotated bibliography, as well as page-by-page notes and an index to the novel. Although some of its remarks (including a number in the notes) are more ingenious than plausible, this volume is helpful and informative and will make Pirsig's book more accessible to all who read it. D. R. Eastwood United States Merchant Marine Academy


Publisher's Weekly Review

The authors of this gloss on Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance assert that the popular 1974 novel/travelogue/autobiography ``offers the beginnings of a new metaphysical synthesis'' fusing East and West, intuition and reason, aesthetic and technical approaches to life. As they track Pirsig's narrator and his 11-year-old son, Chris, on their road odyssey from Minnesota to San Francisco, DiSanto and Steele (who teach at Regis College in Denver) unload the narrator's philosophical backpack of Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, Hindu and Western ideas. Frequent use of the second person singular (``How do you learn to let go?'') lightens their academic discourse, which serves as a thoroughgoing introduction to Pirsig's bestseller. This primer includes reviews of the work and an entire chapter, cut from Pirsig's original manuscript, which puts the relationship between the narrator and his troubled son in a more positive light. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Choice Review

DiSanto and Steele have produced a valuable study guide to Robert Pirsig's psychological-philosophical novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (CH, Jul'74). The first half of this thick guidebook consists chiefly of "A Philosophical Backpack": chapters devoted to Eastern and Western philosophy, which most readers will find intellectually demanding and rhetorically annoying. DiSanto, the author of these chapters, has brilliantly summarized and compared a host of relevant major philosophical positions but has marred his analyses with scores of unintentionally condescending questions and suggestions--e.g., "What do you think?" and "Perhaps you might be interested in developing that analogy." Besides a chronology and map of the novel's journey, this guide further includes previously unpublished sections of Pirsig's manuscript, a lengthy letter from Pirsig to Robert Redford (who was then considering filming the book), nearly 100 pages of reprinted book reviews and scholarly articles, and an annotated bibliography, as well as page-by-page notes and an index to the novel. Although some of its remarks (including a number in the notes) are more ingenious than plausible, this volume is helpful and informative and will make Pirsig's book more accessible to all who read it. D. R. Eastwood United States Merchant Marine Academy