This Wall Street Journal article on a new book about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance sparked a lot of memories, but one stood out:
I didn't swoon over the original book.
A friend had recommended it. As a cyclist, he enjoyed many of the descriptions of the open road. I could understand those passages. The overall thrust of the book was what I missed. Even back then, I felt the descriptions of the relationship with the son were a tad too personal to put in a book, but that was a side-issue. The main irritation came from being baffled about what made the book such a big seller.
This may, of course, be my fault. You read a book at one point and miss the beauty that is found upon a second reading. I may give it another try although there is the lingering suspicion that "Zen and the Art..." was always the beneficiary of media-generated hype; a more sophisticated version of "Love is never having to say you are sorry."
If you saw something deeper, I sincerely would like to know what it is.