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Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Booksby Ted Bishop
Synopses & Reviews
A motorcycle odyssey that combines the sensory seduction of the road with the intellectual rewards of archival research.
Ted Bishop took one last ride before the fall term. When he tried to pass a tractor-trailer at 80 miles per hour, his motorcycle began to vibrate out of control. Bishop was flung into a ditch, breaking his back in two places, shattering a wrist and ankle, and collapsing his lungs. Left with time to write and reflect, Bishop produced Riding with Rilke, an account of the epic motorcycle trip he had completed just before the crash. Here, Bishop takes readers from Edmonton to Austin, through the classic landscapes of the American West, and to a few of America and Europe's most famous cities as he reconciles what it means to be both a road dog and a researcher. Whether describing the shock of holding Virginia Woolf's suicide note in the British Library or the outlaw thrill of cruising small American towns on his Ducati, Bishop meditates with wit and honesty on the tangled interplay of life, work, and art.
"Part travelogue, part ode to his bike and part literary criticism...a memoir infused with joie de vivre."--Publishers Weekly
In this "joyful book" (Booklist), archive diver and Ducati enthusiast Ted Bishop takes readers on an epic trip from Edmonton to Austin, through the classic landscapes of the American West, and to some of America's and Europe's most famous cities as he considers what it means to be a road dog and a researcher. Whether describing how he came to own a Ducati, debating the merits of D. H. Lawrence's novels, relishing the outlaw thrill of cruising small American towns on his bike, or holding Virginia Woolf's suicide note in the British Library, Bishop "easily blends his love of books and archives with his love of motorcycles and riding...an unusual combination...but one that ultimately works" (Library Journal). A Playboy Best Book of 2006.
About the Author
Ted Bishop has authored books and articles on Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and modernist publishing. His writing has also appeared in Cycle Canada, Enroute, and Rider. He lives in Edmonton, Canada, and teaches at the University of Alberta.
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