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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Abbott, Edwin Abbott

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What if there existed a world consisting of only two spatial dimensions? This mind-bending supposition is the jumping-off point for one of literature's most celebrated oddities: the 1884 novella *Flatland*, one of the earliest instances of modern speculative fiction, and perhaps the only instance of mathematical satire. In Flatland, a lowly square, whose polygonal betters exhibit more sides, discovers pathways to other worlds where, alas, thinking is as rigidly defined as in his own. Class structures, the position of women (who are but mere lines), and the stolidness of religious and political leaders are sent up with chilly aplomb. Beloved by fans of science fiction, students of dimensional physics, and readers of Victorian literature, this belongs on the shelf of any serious home library.

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Review:

Flatland is one of the very few novels about math and philosophy that can appeal to almost any layperson. Published in 1880, this short fantasy takes us to a completely flat world of two physical dimensions where all the inhabitants are geometric shapes, and who think the planar world of length and width that they know is all there is. But one inhabitant discovers the existence of a third physical dimension, enabling him to finally grasp the concept of a fourth dimension. Watching our Flatland narrator, we begin to get an idea of the limitations of our own assumptions about reality, and we start to learn how to think about the confusing problem of higher dimensions. The book is also quite a funny satire on society and class distinctions of Victorian England.

About the Author:

Fifty Years in the Flatland
2012 will mark the 50th anniversary in print with Dover of one of the most significant and influential books of the past century and a half. The mathematical, satirical, and religious allegory Flatland by a little-known but immensely prolific Victorian English schoolmaster and theologian Edwin Abbott Abbott, was first published anonymously in England in 1884 — Abbott wrote it under the name "A Square." The unique geometrical romance which is Flatland posited a world and its inhabitants that exist in only two dimensions and forces the reader captivated by the originality of this central idea to think deeply about the meaning of such a world. Generations of readers and students swept into the romance and fascination of geometry and other branches of mathematics and philosophy owe their introduction to this world to Flatland, which continues to entertain and stimulate new readers today, still going strong 126 years after the first edition was launched. Abbott revised the text somewhat for a second edition published just a few months after the first. Dover's 1952 edition was the first American reprinting of the amended second English edition and was published with a new Introduction by physicist Banesh Hoffmann.

From the Book:
"I CALL our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers, who are privileged to live in Space. Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below it, very much like shadows — only hard and with luminous edges — and you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country and countrymen. Alas, a few years ago, I should have said 'my universe': but now my mind has been opened to higher views of things."

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Book Description COSIMO CLASSICS, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 231 x 157 mm. Language: English Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. What if there existed a world consisting of only two spatial dimensions? This mind-bending supposition is the jumping-off point for one of literature s most celebrated oddities: the 1884 novella *Flatland*, one of the earliest instances of modern speculative fiction, and perhaps the only instance of mathematical satire. In Flatland, a lowly square, whose polygonal betters exhibit more sides, discovers pathways to other worlds where, alas, thinking is as rigidly defined as in his own. Class structures, the position of women (who are but mere lines), and the stolidness of religious and political leaders are sent up with chilly aplomb. Beloved by fans of science fiction, students of dimensional physics, and readers of Victorian literature, this belongs on the shelf of any serious home library. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781616402341

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Book Description COSIMO CLASSICS, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 231 x 157 mm. Language: English Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.What if there existed a world consisting of only two spatial dimensions? This mind-bending supposition is the jumping-off point for one of literature s most celebrated oddities: the 1884 novella *Flatland*, one of the earliest instances of modern speculative fiction, and perhaps the only instance of mathematical satire. In Flatland, a lowly square, whose polygonal betters exhibit more sides, discovers pathways to other worlds where, alas, thinking is as rigidly defined as in his own. Class structures, the position of women (who are but mere lines), and the stolidness of religious and political leaders are sent up with chilly aplomb. Beloved by fans of science fiction, students of dimensional physics, and readers of Victorian literature, this belongs on the shelf of any serious home library. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781616402341

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Book Description Cosimo Classics. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 108 pages. Dimensions: 9.1in. x 6.2in. x 0.7in.What if there existed a world consisting of only two spatial dimensions This mind-bending supposition is the jumping-off point for one of literatures most celebrated oddities: the 1884 novella Flatland, one of the earliest instances of modern speculative fiction, and perhaps the only instance of mathematical satire. In Flatland, a lowly square, whose polygonal betters exhibit more sides, discovers pathways to other worlds where, alas, thinking is as rigidly defined as in his own. Class structures, the position of women (who are but mere lines), and the stolidness of religious and political leaders are sent up with chilly aplomb. Beloved by fans of science fiction, students of dimensional physics, and readers of Victorian literature, this belongs on the shelf of any serious home library. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9781616402341

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Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 238mm x 163mm x. Hardcover. What if there existed a world consisting of only two spatial dimensions? This mind-bending supposition is the jumping-off point for one of literature's most cele.Shipping may be from our UK, US or Australian warehouse depending on stock availability. This item is printed on demand. 108 pages. 0.324. Bookseller Inventory # 9781616402341

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