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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance cover

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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (ZAMM), by Robert M. Pirsig, is a book that was first published in 1974. It is a work of fictionalized autobiography, and is the first of Pirsig's texts in which he explores his Metaphysics of Quality. The title is an apparent play on the title of the 1948 book Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel. In its introduction, Pirsig explains that, despite its title, "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." Pirsig received a remarkable 126 rejections before an editor finally accepted it for publication--and he did so thinking it would never make a bit of profit. Then it was on best-selling lists for decades. Initially, the book sold at least 5 million copies worldwide.
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original title: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
subtitle: An Inquiry into Values
date of publication: 1974
genre: philosophical novel, autobiographical novel
followed by: Lila: An Inquiry into Morals

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