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– John Barth, Menelaiad
I began reading John Barth’s collection of short stories Lost in the Funhouse last night and upon finishing the author’s prefatory note, I encountered a story of staggering simplicity, let unimaginable depth. I have yet to finish it, and doubt I ever will. It so beautiful encapsulates a theme of this site, that I have decided to present the story in full here. Be warned though, once you start reading, you may never finish. I present to you John Barth’s Frame-Tale:
For Clarification: These are two consecutive pages printed on opposite sides of the same sheet.
If you are having trouble visualizing what this is, here is an assembled version: SPOILER.
You will never read this, and thus I can fearlessly admit a grave error: Now that this is on my site, my previous writings are all in vain, for no one will ever be able to reach them. If you do not hear from me again, you know where I will be. To lose yourself even further read:
Barth, John. “Frame-Tale.” Lost in the Funhouse. New York: Anchor, 1988. 1-2. Print.
To see my modest tribute to this story, see Moobius Mooroboros.