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This Mobius Strip of Ifs

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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In this impressive and varied collection of creative essays, Mathias B. Freese jousts with American culture. A mixture of the author's reminiscences, insights, observations, and criticism, This Mobius Strip of Ifs examines the use and misuse of psychotherapy, childhood trauma, complicated family relationships, his frustration as a teacher, and the enduring value of tenacio ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published 2012 by Wheatmark
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3.73  · 
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 ·  26 ratings  ·  19 reviews


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Grady
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
`Life is best understood backwards.' Kierkegaard

According to the dictionary definition, `The Möbius strip is a surface with only one side and only one boundary component. The Möbius strip has the mathematical property of being non-orientable. It can be realized as a ruled surface. It has several curious properties. A line drawn starting from the seam down the middle will meet back at the seam but at the "other side". If continued the line will meet the starting point and will be double the lengt
...more
Cathy Speight
I panicked a little when I started to read this: it was instantly evident that the writer is very intelligent, well read, extraordinarily articulate and profound (and I confess I don’t even understand the title). I feared this was going to be rather highbrow; would I ‘get’ it and how on earth was I going to be able to review it when the author is clearly a good deal more astute than I? What we have here is a collection of essays on various topics by a man who was once in therapy, then turned to ...more
Diana Stevan
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Mathias B.Freese is a former psychotherapist and teacher, and though he shares some of those experiences, this is no dry academic text. His essay collection is a rich concoction of stories, feelings, dreams, ideas, perceptions, and distilled memories. By sharing his own emotionally deprived childhood and family losses, he touches a core in all of us who’ve considered our early years and/or have gone through the pain of losing those we love. And he doesn’t flinch when he shares his regrets or his ...more
Cassondra Windwalker
Feb 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
Although Freese occasionally delights, he more often disappoints. There is a degree of pomposity permeating the essays that weights them. He frequently compares his life losses and sufferings with the Holocaust, a baffling parallel. Either he believes that his griefs far exceed those of anyone else, or he finds no meaning in the Holocaust at all. Probably the former, since he often elevates his own experiences while dismissing those of everyone else. This book offers a few thoughtful moments, bu ...more
Aurora
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-g-series
Name of Book: This Möbius Strip of Ifs

ISBN: 978-1-60494-723-6

Publisher: Wheatmark

Summary:

In this impressive and varied collection of creative essays, Mathias B. Freese jousts with American culture. A mixture of the author's reminiscences, insights, observations, and criticism, the book examines the use and misuse of psychotherapy, childhood trauma, complicated family relationships, his frustration as a teacher, and the enduring value of tenaciously writing through it all. Freese scathingly desc
...more
Fran
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This Mobius Strip of Ifs
Author: Mathias Freese

What if everyone lived within the inside of a box so thick that they could not see what was behind the corners or upper lid and never realizing what lies behind the confines of this box? What if you world was so fragile and breakable that all you see is what is right in front of you and not what is around you? What if you lived inside the shell an uncooked egg and each time you moved around just a little bit of the shell came apart and what you begin
...more
guiltlessreader
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on my blog Guiltless Reading

Reflect, ruminate, feel, re-read. Repeat.

My two cents: I have been reading this slim book of essays on and off for two months. I couldn't rush through it. It is one of those books that you read a few pages a time, ruminate upon, reread, and then potentially regroup. If you're looking for a diversion or some escape, this isn't it. If you're looking for a something with some real meat, and want to be challenged, provoked ... and you want to feel, then
...more
Todd
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it
The idea of a möbius strip is an interesting one. It's a surface that has only one side and only one boundary component. It's curious because it is so interconnected. If one were to trace the length of the outer surface with a pen, one would eventually end up at the beginning again without ever having to lift the pen from the surface. This has a great allegorical value, as you could view life in the same way: one continuous path that twists into itself and ultimately brings you back to where you ...more
Lisa Taylor
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-nonfiction
When I first read about this book, I got the impression that it would either be wonderful or terrible. Either the author would be intelligent enough that he could effectively and from solid ground “joust with American culture,” or he couldn’t and the book would read as a giant whine-fest that lacked credibility. As you can tell by my rating, he clearly has the brains to back this book up.

Now, I didn’t agree with all of his essays, but agreeing isn’t the point. Where would the world be if we all
...more
Lubna
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
To begin with the book came across a pure rant by the author. A rant against the education system which churns out robots with no mind of their own who march into society to be a success (in material terms); a rant against a mother-daughter duo who while they did not overtly flaunt their wealth were the top bidders at an auction (the auction was to sell the assets of a rich couple who were divorcing each other) -- the author disliked the gluttony he witness as the economy especially in these par ...more
Grady
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
`Life is best understood backwards.' Kierkegaard

According to the dictionary definition, `The Möbius strip is a surface with only one side and only one boundary component. The Möbius strip has the mathematical property of being non-orientable. It can be realized as a ruled surface. It has several curious properties. A line drawn starting from the seam down the middle will meet back at the seam but at the "other side". If continued the line will meet the starting point and will be double the lengt
...more
Alyce Wilson
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
How does one summarize an entire life of more than 60 years? When faced with this ominous task, too many self-published writers produce rambling, episodic narratives that fail to capture the true drama and beauty of their lives. Fortunately for author Mathias B. Freese, he is a gifted essayist who has been writing essays for decades. By collecting his favorite pieces, he gives readers insights into both his personal life (which is, sadly, full of tragedy) and his views on such topics as educatio ...more
Udita
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie G
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
With deepest apologies to the author for the tardiness of this post, I have put fingers to keys many, many times in an effort to review his book. Never have I felt so inadequate - had so much trouble finding the right words. Perhaps because I have never before read anything with which I connected on so many levels.

This Möbius Strip of Ifs is a collection of essays, life stories, and personal rages against society, the educational system, religion, and therapy. Okay, bad therapists; not necessari
...more
Valentina
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
It’s not an easy task to review a book composed of essays, especially when they are as deeply personal as these are. However, I do want to share some of the thoughts I had.
First of all, there is no doubt Mr. Freese is a writer at heart, and soul, and everywhere that’s important. His words, his phrases, are organic, the kind that seem so simple yet really are not. They have layers of meanings that deserve many consequent readings. Sure, there are a few moments where I found myself wishing he’d wh
...more
Linda
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american, philosophy
Hmmm, what's a Mobius strip? The foreword says this mathematical model is a metaphor for "possibilities outside our perception." Freese believes most of us humans don't perceive much, and he encourages all to become more self-aware. He covers a lot of topics, from the education system to religion to the Holocaust to therapy to the words on the Jefferson Memorial in this series of essays on this and that. Loved this first section, didn't care much about the next section of a few essays about old ...more
Courtney
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This Mobius Strip of Ifs is not a book for those who do not wish to think a lot while reading.
This is a collection of short essays and memoirs by the author Mathias Freese. It is a very intellectual writing with a hint of emotion as well.
I found each different essay to be interesting in its own ways. Reading through each one was thoroughly enjoyable.
I find it hard to review books of this sort because they are all different. The writing styles are different, the subjects are different, and so
...more
Slee
In system more reflective of the individual merits of each piece, rather than grossly averaging the value of each essay, Freese's collection of essays would vary widely in ratings. While The Unheard Scream deserves some four stars for its intrinsic curiousity and urgency, the rampant kyriarchy throughgout essays such as A Spousal Interview and Teachers Have No Chance to Give Their Best makes it difficult to rate the collection higher than two and a half to three. If you, dear reader, can overcom ...more
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This Mobius Strip of Ifs 2 6 Jul 03, 2012 06:37PM