Lindqvist and Pirsig

Sven Lindqvist has been one of my literary heroes for decades. He seems to be, in all aspects, the total contrary to Chatwin as a travel writer – whether writing about South America or Australia. Politically and socially aware (but never dogmatic), respectful to the people that deserve it, trustworthy, and logically consistent.

I more or less followed in Lindqvist’s footsteps in South America after reading his classic travel reports which were published in two books in the 1970’s. I and my travel companion were not as ambitious in publishing as he was, so we only ended up with a series in the local newspaper. Without any payment.

In his new book, “Fadern, sonen och den heliga motorcykeln”, Lindqvist writes about his travelling (by car) in the motorcycle tracks of Robert Pirsig and actually meeting people who are in his book. The books of Pirsig have changed my ideas about things. I exactly remember where and when I was spending a night at a kitchen table, although it was quite long ago, not being able to put down “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance”. Lindqvist is however more critical than I was, at least at that time. Now I am just waiting for Sven to also make the boat trip which is the frame story in Lila…..


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Filed under Literature, South America, Travels

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