Subject, Object and Motorcyle Maintenance
Rereading Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974) is a pleasure, maybe because it feels so comfortable. The road between Minneapolis and Bozeman means something to me, intersects with my family. We walked in those mountains. I’m understanding the identity of Quality with Value with the Tao as if for the first time. Living is a bit like maintaining a motorcyle. OK.
I had completely forgotten or overlooked Pirsig’s projection of subject and object on to the dichotomy between science and art. It’s very, very like Flusser, especially the Flusser of “The Gesture of Searching”.
It’s far from irrelevant that Phaedrus, the character (I do think of this book as a novel, although it succeeds in not really being either fiction or non-fiction.) who taught rhetoric, which is to say writing, goes mad. Can writing be anything like motorcyle maintenance?