"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then works outward from there."
— Robert M. Pirsig
Robert Maynard Pirsig was born in Minneapolis in 1928. It became a popular writer from the publication of his first book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974). The book outlines the philosophy of Pirsig's metaphysics of quality, mainly in the form of autobiographical story telling the motorcycle journey across North America. The book retains its popularity today. In 1974, Pirsig was awarded a Guggenheim Award for his work. (Pirsig, 2000)
Phaedrus undertakes a bike ride with Chris, the son of eleven years. While traveling the U.S. highways, the art of motorcycle maintenance becomes a beautiful metaphor for how to combine the cold, rational world of technology and the warm and imaginative world of art. As in Zen, its focus, observe and appreciate the details, down to merge with its activity, be it a walk in the woods, writing an essay or tighten a motorcycle chain. (Novak, 2003)
The trip, understood as the seductive desire to go different places in the world but also as an interior journey, Pirsig serves to guide the reader through the philosophical issues of art and technology, value and utility, the dialectic and rhetoric guided by the twinkle of the highway and roads. In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the daily care of the mechanical parts, for correct operation and the necessary balance of the parts that contain the whole history of Western philosophy through the eyes of the East, and manages to reconcile Pirsig both eyes. (Wilson, 1966)
For some people in my generation there are few books ...