The above is a quote from one of my favourite books, Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which I first read sometime in the 80s and have recently re-read for the umpteenth time. And I can't help but agree with this observation of his, especially when faced with the drivel I've been writing in this lj for the last 8 months. I wish I had it in me to write about the things that really matter, the big questions of life and death, in a well thought out, concise, and maybe slightly quirky way...scratch that, I wish I could just write!
Because contrary to what you may have been led to believe, I have a brain. Admittedly, not a very good one, or I would have been able to bring this notion across without having to state it so explicitly (and hope that you believe me, because I don't think I have any real proof to offer). I majored in two disciplines, cum laude even, and minored in a great many others, Philosophy being one of those.
So I can't help but be attracted to books with a certain philosophical focus or interest to them. Even if they're incomplete, such as Zen... which ignores all of the philosophical debates of the last century; or downright simplistic, such as Jostein Gaarder's Sophie's World that all the world and his wife were reading a couple of years ago, and praised to the heavens. I like them dry and factual -though not too dry and factual-, such as my first year's textbook by the eminent philosopher Sir Bertrand Russell himself, The History of Western Philosophy which I have no qualms about reading again; or fictionalised, such as Bruce Duffy's 1987 debut The World As I Found It, which is a novelisation of the life and philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein. I've read Nietzsche and Thomas Aquinas, Sartre and Erasmus, Thomas More and Kant; Descartes and Plato.
What's more, I can even recall a few of their concerns, arguments and expostulations. What I can't do, however, is write about it, or what it taught me, in any kind of non-shallow way. And today, that bugs me.
I may feel differently tomorrow, though.