Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

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9780486200019: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

How would a creature limited to two dimensions be able to grasp the possibility of a third? Edwin A. Abbott's droll and delightful "romance of many dimensions" explores this conundrum in the experiences of his protagonist, A Square, whose linear world is invaded by an emissary Sphere bringing the gospel of the third dimension. Part geometry lesson, part social satire, this classic work of science fiction brilliantly succeeds in enlarging all readers' imaginations beyond the limits of their "respective dimensional prejudices."
This new edition begins with an introduction by Rosemary Jann that illuminates the social and intellectual context that produced the work and explains its relationship to the theological issues central to Abbott's career. It also provides the most extensive discussion to date of the class and gender issues raised by the text and of the debates over the limits of scientific and mathematical knowledge in which it participated.
Flatlands unique combination of astute social, philosophical, and mathematical observations with wit and humor can be read at many different levels, and will prove especially enjoyable to readers of Victorian literature and philosophy.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product Description:

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. In such a country, you will perceive at once that it is impossible that there should be anything of what you call a "solid" kind; but I dare say you will suppose that we could at least distinguish by sight the Triangles, Squares, and other figures, moving about as I have described them. On the contrary, we could see nothing of the kind, not at least so as to distinguish one figure from another. Nothing was visible, nor could be visible, to us, except Straight Lines; and the necessity of this I will speedily demonstrate.

Product Description:

As a satire, Flatland offers pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions; in a foreword to one of the many publications of the novella, noted science writer Isaac Asimov described Flatland as "the best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions." As such, the novella is still popular amongst mathematics, physics, and computer science students. The story is about a two-dimensional world referred to as Flatland. All existence is limited to length and breadth in Flatland, its inhabitants unable even to imagine a third dimension. The amiable narrator, A Square, provides an overview of this fantastic world-its physics and metaphysics, its history, customs, and religious beliefs. But when a strange visitor mysteriously appears and transports the incredulous Flatlander to Spaceland, a land of three dimensions, his worldview is forever shattered.

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