[MD] questions about cover art
horse at darkstar.uk.net
Sun Oct 14 05:13:58 PDT 2018
It may be that the depiction of the lotus is that it is in a
pre-flowering state - as is the Quality idea at the time of ZAMM's
publishing. Hard to know really but it looks like it could represent a
combining of the Romantic and Classical into a unified whole.
Just speculating really but that's what it suggests to me.
On 07/10/2018 20:48, list wrote:
> Thank you all for your comments. The flower itself does indeed look like a lotus, but the green leaves below do not. The lotus is a water plant, also known as water lily. Its plant are big round green swimming island. The leaves shown on the cover does not look like that at all. So is this a romantic (inaccurate) interpretation?
> The original cover:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_and_the_Art_of_Motorcycle_Maintenance#/media/File:Zen_motorcycle.jpg <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_and_the_Art_of_Motorcycle_Maintenance#/media/File:Zen_motorcycle.jpg>
> Images of the lotus plant and leaves:
> Any ideas?
> Thank you,
>> On 6/10/2018, at 12:25 AM, Horse <horse at darkstar.uk.net> wrote:
>> Hi Christoph
>> The flower half of the motif on the cover of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZAMM) is a Lotus Flower which has a special place in Buddhism. According to Wiki:
>> "In*Buddhist*symbolism the*lotus*is symbolic of purity of the body, speech, and mind as while rooted in the mud, its*flowers blossom*on long stalks as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. It is also symbolic of detachment as drops of water easily slide off its petals."
>> The flower is Zen, the spanner the motorcycle.
>> Something else that may also be of interest are the markings on the spanner.
>> On my ancient copy of ZAMM, on the shaft of the spanner I can see 2 impressions from the 'casting'. One is 5/16W and the other is 3/8BSF. The first is for Whitworth (or British Standard Whitworth) and the second is for British Standard Fine which relate to bolt/thread sizes and were used extensively on British motorcycles, before and during the 1960's.
>> I don't know if this is to symbolise Pirsig's links with the UK or if it's just an artist's attention to detail. It does seem a bit incongruous when you think that Pirsig's motorcycle was Japanese which would likely have used the metric system. It may be some other additional symbolism or it may be nothing!
>> Food for thought?
>> Have a look at:
>> for more background info
>> There are other good references to be found if you search using Google.
>> Good luck with your research and feel free to post again with other questions or ideas
>> On 02/10/2018 21:35, list wrote:
>>> I am working on some research about the various editions of Pirsig’s books and I was wondering if anybody would know what flower/plant is depicted on several of the covers. I would suspect that it somehow relates to the philosophical ideas.
>>> Any ideas?
>>> Thank you,
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