Flatland, like our own world, is on the verge of the millenium. On the last day of the year 1999, a Square—hitherto undistinguished from the other shapes of his two-dimensional world—receives the Gospel of Three Dimensions, revealed to that world's flat inhabitants only once every a thousand years. Transformed by a truth he is unable to conceal, he is promptly condemned as a heretic. His poignant tale is itself a multi-dimensional creation, for it is not only a challenge to our most basic perceptions of everyday reality, but a sharp social satire and an illuminating mathematical treatise as well.
In the tradition of fantasy and social satire that includes Gulliver's Travels , Alice in Wonderland, and Animal Farm, Abbott pokes fun at the rigid class structure and concern for appearances of his Victorian society even as he poses an underlying question that is as provoking today as it was a century ago. Could we and everything we see around us be only a cross section for worlds of higher dimensions?
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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.From the Back Cover:
Flatland (1884) is an influential mathematical fantasy that simultaneously provides an introduction to non-Euclidean geometry and a satire on the Victorian class structure, issues of science and faith, and the role of women. A classic of early science fiction, the novel takes place in a world of two dimensions where all the characters are geometric shapes. The narrator, A Square, is a naïve, respectable citizen who is faced with proof of the existence of three dimensions when he is visited by a sphere and is forced to see the limitations of his world.
The introduction to this Broadview Edition provides context for the book’s references to Victorian culture and religion, mathematical history, and the history of philosophy. The appendices contain contemporary reviews; extracts from the work of fellow mathematical fantasy writer/mathematician Charles Hinton; Hermann von Helmboltz’s “The Axioms of Geometry” (1870); and autobiographical passages from Abbott’s The Kernel and the Husk (1886).
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Book Description Shambhala, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Min. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1570624380
Book Description Shambhala, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1570624380
Book Description Shambhala, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111570624380