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Over the years I have come across a bunch of book titles and blog posts that goes "Zen and the art of X", and X being any damn thing. What to deduct when you see such a title?

My research lead me to this question, but it is not exactly what I am looking for.

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The answer to that question you linked to shows you the source of the meme: Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. –  Robusto Apr 2 '12 at 0:02
@Robusto - that's worthy of being an answer. Some folks are not old enough to remember a world before that book. –  Kate Gregory Apr 2 '12 at 0:04
@KateGregory: Thanks ... I think. –  Robusto Apr 2 '12 at 0:11
@Kate Gregory: Hmm. I only have to type zen a, and Google autocompletes the entire title as its top suggestion (other suggestions include title + quotes, review, etc.). It's general reference and a duplicate. Not quite as bad as asking "Who are the Beatles", but hardly much better. –  FumbleFingers Apr 2 '12 at 0:30
"deduct" is not "deduce" ... –  GEdgar Apr 2 '12 at 0:33
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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, jwpat7, Robusto, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, Mitch Apr 2 '12 at 2:22

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

Zen is a way of thinking, steeped in Eastern mysticism and philosophy. Zen and the Art of X simply applies Zen thought to whatever X is. In the case of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the book is a story of the author's cross-country motorcycle trip, heavily peppered with Zen musings.

It's hard to define Zen concisely - it's rather abstract and elusive. I did find this list of quotes related to Zen. (If you read through that list, you might get at least a rudimentary introduction to Zen thought).

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