MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Mobius Strip (1978)
Cho-Se Hui
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Contributed by Vijay Fafat

A very short Korean tale, where the author has tried to give a parallel between a situation in real life and the Möbius strip. The story begins with a Math professor’s lecture, where he explains the Möbius strip to his students. Then it cuts to a rural setting. Two men, who have gotten swindled by a crooked broker into selling their houses at extremely low prices, seek revenge and repayment. After they confront the broker, one of the men decides to leave and face life as it comes while the other goes on to murder the broker. Finally, the story switches back to the professor, who exhorts his students:

(quoted from Mobius Strip)

Ask yourselves whether there exists a solid whose inner and outer parts can't be distinguished. Imagine a solid where you can't divide inner and outer - mobius-type solid. The universe, infinite, endless, we can't seem to tell its inside from the outside. This simple mobius strip conceals many truths. It will gradually become clear to you that human knowledge is often put to extraordinary evil uses. Make absolutely sure that you never compromise your knowledge for the sake of self interest.

Appearing in the collection whose English title is “The Dwarf".

Also in "The Dwarf" is a story called "The Klein Bottle" which similarly attempts to relate the geometry of a non-orientable surface to some human situation.

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Works Similar to Mobius Strip
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Rough Strife by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
  2. Problems by John Updike
  3. Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth
  4. Mulligan Stew by Gilbert Sorrentino
  5. Ratner's Star by Don DeLillo
  6. According to the Law by Solvej Balle
  7. The Mathematics of Nina Gluckstein by Esther Vilar
  8. Tigor (aka The Snowflake Constant) by Peter Stephan Jungk
  9. Het gemillimeterde hoofd (The Cropped Head) by Gerrit Krol
  10. Good Will by Jane Smiley
Ratings for Mobius Strip:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
2/5 (1 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)
..

Categories:
Genre
MotifMobius Strip/Nonorientability,
Topic
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)