With Quality

I recently listened to an interview with Robert Pirsig, author of ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values’ and found it, and his life story, illuminating and inspiring.

“Shortly after the book was published, Connie Goldman talked with Robert Pirsig at his home in St. Paul, Minn. Pirsig discusses his process in writing the book, at times working four hours before he arrived for his day job writing technical manuals.” NPR

Here you can listen to the above interview, originally broadcast by NPR on July 12, 1974, as well as find two other interviews here. I haven’t got down to listening to them yet.

And here is somebody talking about The Writing Life. In his case writing novels.

* * *
Art is anything you can do well.
Anything you can do with Quality.
Robert Pirsig
* * *
Many thanks to the person who pointed me towards these interviews. Much appreciated.
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3 thoughts on “With Quality”

  1. I have a battered and yellowed copy from 1974 that is much travelled. Like my Alan Watts, not to be thrown away. I probably betray my age!
    Pirsig writes an opening caveat:
    “What follows is based on actual occurrences. Although much has been changed for rhetorical purposes, it must be regarded in its essence as fact. However, it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It’s not very factual on motorcycles, either”.

  2. I read this book in the 90’s, long after it was published but well before I became a Zen Buddhist. As the author says, it’s not really about Buddhism but I did have quite a profound affect on my outlook, especially in my job as a software engineer. It has a lot of very useful things to say on the relationship between art and science, which is much closer than many people would believe.

    I didn’t become a Buddhist because of this book but it may well have opened my mind to new posibilities a little more and set me on a path.

  3. … well said Techiepig and the battered copies are the best Walter, I think I’ve battered mine about 10 times now.

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