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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 15 Jul 2012
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Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainance on the BBC

I have just found out that a couple of weeks ago there was a dramatisation of Robert M Persig's book Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainance on BBC radio 4. Unfortunately it is not available on iplayer and I was wondering if anybody happened to record it and could e-mail me a copy?

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Saturday Drama, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
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  #2  
Old 15 Jul 2012
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I've got an mp3 copy but it's 80mb. Not sure email could handle it. PM me if you still want a copy; sure we can work something out

It wasn't bad. The book has long been deemed unfilmable but it kind of worked on radio because radio does internal monologues rather well.

It was interesting to see what they kept and what they cut out and how some dream sequences were foregrounded. A couple of the scenes felt genuinely tense. Nice listen, though it's 1hr 26 mins and not 60 mins as the BBC iPlayer claimed
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Old 15 Jul 2012
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This is something I'd enjoy, too.

I've enjoyed this book -- as difficult to read as it is -- for the love and care she showed to MC riding.

I'll look online for it; I'll PM you, as well if I can't find it.
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Old 15 Jul 2012
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It's easily available online if you use bittorrent but if you don't use that system then I'll have to try and upload it somewhere, which could take a while
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Old 15 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Diego View Post
This is something I'd enjoy, too.

I've enjoyed this book -- as difficult to read as it is -- for the love and care she showed to MC riding.
It's a brilliant book - my sig comes from it and it single-handedly got me interested in motorbikes when I first read it at a young age.

If you find it hard going, the key is to re-read it several times. I must have read it a dozen times and could probably read it again tomorrow

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I'll look online for it; I'll PM you, as well if I can't find it.
Sure, no worries
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Old 16 Jul 2012
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Big, big thanks. Enjoying it now!

And you're right about reading it twice. Like many of the classics, I always get something new out of them when I've read them 2 or more times.

(Except Ulysses, of course. There's no hope for that one...)
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Old 16 Jul 2012
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Sorted now thanks Sennen, that is my in-tent entertainment for this evening.
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Old 16 Jul 2012
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No problem guys. Enjoy.

And Danny, Ulysses is definitely worth a go. In that case the best way to read it is with a 'guide' book which you read alongside it and which gives additional info and tells you whats going on during the more obscure bits. It enlivens the reading experience tremendously. There are plenty of guides to choose from
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Old 16 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by Sennen View Post
Ulysses is definitely worth a go. In that case the best way to read it is with a 'guide' book which you read alongside it and which gives additional info and tells you whats going on during the more obscure bits.
I have a really good JJ guide to U. Still difficult! Will try it again, as I see it's worthy of getting through.

I get the idea that you're a MC enthusiast and a road scholar! Thanks for making us think.
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Old 16 Jul 2012
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Lila

Thanks muchly for the post about this. Looks like it's coming out on a BBC CD. (I've never got to grips with bittorrent and that sort of stuff!)

Like others here, it took me two readings to reach the end of the book, and ever more dippings-in to try to get the best of it.

If anyone's interested, I'd recommend Pirsig's 2nd book, Lila. It brings morality into the discussion of his meaning of quality and life, and I found it easier to grasp. Although that could be because I had previously read Zen twice.
The story is a journey again, down the Hudson River on his boat, with a woman who asks him for a lift to his destination (New York).
I still assume that in this book, although autobiographical, 'Lila' is a fictional character. Unlike Chris, Pirsig's son, in Zen.
Anyone know if that's right? I think I might have read the answer somewhere but don't remember.

Maybe I'll have to read it again. It's about 15 years since I read it.
.....yes, that's a good idea.
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Old 16 Jul 2012
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Hi McCrankpin

Lila is an interesting read but suffers from the shift in authorial viewpoint, I feel. The framing story of Zen is told in the first person while referring to Phaedrus in the third and that's an incredibly effective approach, and rarely seen in non-fiction or biographical fiction.

In Lila he tells it all in the third person and shifts character viewpoints as well - the narrative shifts between Phaedrus's, Lila's and even the odd supporting character's POV and that's just nowhere near as immersive or effective IMO

Having said that what he discusses about Static versus Dynamic Quality and the different and disparate static patterns of reality - inorganic, biological, social and intellectual, which are totally independent of each other like software is from hardware, are brilliant, brilliant insights and well worth the cover price alone. Suddenly so much stuff makes more sense

It's also notable that he admits that he was wrong about his previous division between the Classical and Romantic which forms the centrepoint of Zen.

In short, for me the philosophy in Lila is great but as a narrative it struggles somewhat. But then again it was a finalist for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize so what do I know?

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I still assume that in this book, although autobiographical, 'Lila' is a fictional character. Unlike Chris, Pirsig's son, in Zen.
Anyone know if that's right? I think I might have read the answer somewhere but don't remember.
Yes, Lila Blewitt and Rigel and Capella are all fictional characters devised to help the story along (whereas all the characters in Zen were real). The actual boat trip did happen, though
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Old 16 Jul 2012
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Zen etc

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Originally Posted by Sennen View Post

It wasn't bad. The book has long been deemed unfilmable but it kind of worked on radio because radio does internal monologues rather well.

It was interesting to see what they kept and what they cut out and how some dream sequences were foregrounded. A couple of the scenes felt genuinely tense. Nice listen, though it's 1hr 26 mins and not 60 mins as the BBC iPlayer claimed
I'm another who struggled with this book and I had to go back to it a few times, over more than a few years.
I find it hard to conceive that it has been reduced to a mere 86 minutes though - you have me wondering what has this version lost in the conversion from a complex book to an audio presentation?
Maybe I should get hold of a copy to see
Initially, I started reading this book for the bike riding aspect (I guess we all did), but the philosophy of quality came shining through as I managed to make progress; the messages in there have lost no potency with time - if anything, they are more appropriate to modern, developed nations than ever.

As for the sequel, I never did get very far into reading about Lila and her morals; nor am I sure that I want to now.

Thanks for this thread!!
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Old 17 Jul 2012
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No problem guys. Enjoy.
Sennen,
Thanks for the PM; I must now listen as well as read
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Old 19 Jul 2012
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Nice find - enjoyed the book too.
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Old 22 Jul 2012
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Hi McCrankpin

The framing story of Zen is told in the first person while referring to Phaedrus in the third and that's an incredibly effective approach, and rarely seen in non-fiction or biographical fiction.
Yes Sennen I'd agree, but you realise that although there is a shift from first to third person narrator there are grounds for saying that this is no mere literary device. You are aware of Pirzig's personal history and that Phaedrus can legitimately be regarded as an actual autonomous individual, who emerged after the ECT treatment.

I suggest that Pirzig sees Phaedrus as exactly that - another person.
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