Friday 56 & Book Beginnings: This Mobius Strip of Ifs

I was casually informed a year after the fact by the editor of Grafitti that my short story "Herbie" published in that magazine was listed in Martha Foley's The Best American Short Stories of 1975 under "Distinctive Short Stories of 1974."
p. 3 "To Ms. Foley, with Gratitude"
in The Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias Freese

The bravest of us all are those who do not need systems--fascism, to wit--nor religions or cults--Mormonism (Mark Twain famously referred to the Book of Mormon as "chloroform in print.")
p. 56 "On Reading Christopher Hitchens's God is Not Great"
in The Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias Freese


In 2008, I read Mathias Freese's Down to a Sunless Sea, an interesting collection of very personal short stories. I disappeared from book blogging for a while and was again contacted by the author. So here we are, with another of Freese's books, which I don't doubt to be yet another provoking read.

Serious synopsis: 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 describes the conditioning society imposes upon artists and awakened souls. Whether writing about the spiritual teacher, Krishnamurti, poet and novelist, Nikos Kazantzakis, or film giants such as Orson Welles and Buster Keaton, the author skewers where he can and applauds those who refuse to compromise and conform. A psychotherapist for twenty-five years, Freese conveys a unique combination of psychodynamic thinking and Eastern philosophy while examining Existentialism, alternative education, and Jewish values.

What books are you reading, or thinking of reading? Post a comment with your link, I'd love to come visit you!

17 comments:

  1. So many opinions surrounding religion.

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    1. which i guess will make this, at the least, interesting

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  2. Sounds like an interesting book.

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    1. Thanks Amy! I enjoyed his first book, so I couldn't say no to this one!

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  3. Lots of books to read and think of reading! Please do visit!

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    1. can you say unmanageable TBR? :) i am not complaining though :)

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  4. This looks quite interesting. I may have to check it out. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog earlier. Have a great weekend.

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  5. Great teaser! Have a great weekend!

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  6. Sounds like a nice collection of deep thoughts and opinions. Look forward to your review on this one.

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  7. Sounds interesting but a little deep for what I am craving at this point in my school year. I hope you are enjoying it. Happy reading!

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    1. going good so far! i really like how simple his language is. yes it is a little deep - taking this one in small doses.

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  8. Welcome back!

    Thanks for participating in Book Beginnings! Sorry I am slow this week to come by and visit your post.

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    1. you know, i forgot to post last week's BB on your blog! thanks for coming by gilion!

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  9. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2012
    Mathias B. Freese Wins an NIEA for 2012, and more…

    The sixth annual National Indie Excellence Awards were announced last month. On behalf of Serving House Journal, I'm delighted to share with our readers that a collection of essays by Mathias B. Freese, This Möbius Strip of Ifs, took first place in the general Non-Fiction category.

    I'm pleased to add that we listed This Möbius Strip of Ifs on our Bookshelf of recommended reading last fall, in Issue 4.

    Work by Freese also appears in Issue 2 (“Soap,” an essay) and Issue 3 (“Sincerely, Max Weber,” a short story). Which leads me to the next item of awesome news:

    Freese’s collection of stories, I Truly Lament, has been chosen as a finalist in the 2012 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest.

    From Leapfrog Press: “I Truly Lament is a varied collection of stories, inmates in death camps, survivors of these camps, disenchanted Golems complaining about their tasks, Holocaust deniers and their ravings, and collectors of Hitler curiosa (only recently a few linens from Hitler’s bedroom suite went up for sale!) as well as an imagined interview with Eva Braun during her last days in the bunker. The intent is to perceive the Holocaust from several points of view.”

    Congratulations, Matt! And best wishes for many more such accolades!

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