Moebius Strip

  1. Cut a strip of paper 27cm long and 2cm wide.
  2. Print the following on one side, using equally spaced words formed of capital letters with no punctuation: IN THE MIND BUT THEN THE MEANING IS.
  3. Now turn the paper over by turning it away from you. On this side print: IN THE WORD BUT THEN THE MEANING IS.
  4. Make a moebius strip by twisting the paper once and gluing the ends together.

You have just create a circular sentence. Read the sentence carefully. What does it suggest about the process of reading? About the process of rereading? About the relative importance of the word and the reader’s response to that word? And finally, consider the sentence as a physical object, as a moebius strip, a three-dimensional circle. Can the insides and the outsides of the strip be distinguished from each other? If not, what does this suggest about our search for the “real” location of a story’s meaning? And about the relationship between the “inside” mind of the reader and the “outside” words of the story?

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