Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Review: Zen and Now by Mark Richardson

Today in January Magazine’s non-fiction section, contributing editor Diane Leach reviews Zen and Now: On the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Mark Richardson. Says Leach:
The best possible way to read Richardson’s book is to first re-read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. If you are between 40 and 60, chances are you still have a battered paperback copy around -- perhaps the edition with the blue cover (the one my parents had), the orange cover (mine), or Richardson’s pink one. If you are like many of us, you read the book well over 20 years ago, with intermittent comprehension. If at all possible, go back and reread. You will be amazed at how relevant Pirsig’s book remains. You may even be pleased at how much more you understand about his inquiry into Quality. Broken into layman’s terms, Pirsig felt anything worth doing merited one’s full attention; that even the dullest tasks, when carefully attended to, might well elicit better methods. In Pirsig’s pre-computer, pre-Internet, pre-mobile phone world, technology was already demonized. Pirsig argued that technology itself was not to blame for degraded values. Rather, our use of it -- rather, misuse -- lay at the root of societal disintegration.
In other words, hang up and drive.
The full review is here.

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