Flatland; a Romance of Many Dimensions

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General Books LLC, 2010 - Mathematics - 60 pages
78 Reviews
Excerpt: ...he had neither seen me, nor heard anything except confused sounds beating against, what I called his side, but what he called his INSIDE or STOMACH; nor had he even now the least conception of the region from which I had come. Outside his World, or Line, all was a blank to him; nay, not even a blank, for a blank implies Space; say, rather, all was non-existent. His subjects-of whom the small Lines were men and the Points Women-were all alike confined in motion and eyesight to that single Straight Line, which was their World. It need scarcely be added that the whole of their horizon was limited to a Point; nor could any one ever see anything but a Point. Man, woman, child, thing-each as a Point to the eye of a Linelander. Only by the sound of the voice could sex or age be distinguished. Moreover, as each individual occupied the whole of the narrow path, so to speak, which constituted his Universe, and no one could move to the right or left to make way for passers by, it followed that no Linelander could ever pass another. Once neighbours, always neighbours. Neighbourhood with them was like marriage with us. Neighbours remained neighbours till death did them part. Such a life, with all vision limited to a Point, and all motion to a Straight Line, seemed to me inexpressibly dreary; and I was surprised to note that vivacity and cheerfulness of the King. Wondering whether it was possible, amid circumstances so unfavourable to domestic relations, to enjoy the pleasures of conjugal union, I hesitated for some time to question his Royal Highness on so delicate a subject; but at last I plunged into it by abruptly inquiring as to the health of his family. "My wives and children," he replied, "are well and happy." Staggered at this answer-for in the immediate proximity of the Monarch (as I had noted in my dream before I entered Lineland) there were none but Men-I ventured to reply, "Pardon me, but I cannot imagine how your Royal Highness can at any...

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - adam.currey - www.librarything.com

I suspect it's an effect of this book having been written in the 1880's with language having changed quite a bit in the intervening time, but I found this book completely impenetrable - I only made it ... Read full review

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User Review  - Stevil2001 - LibraryThing

Flatland is a clever book. It may be about two dimensions, but it works on more than one. Like a lot of the best science fiction, it allows us to imagine a world unlike ours while telling us something ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Edwin Abbott Abbott (1838-1926) has been ranked as one of the leading scholars and theologians of the Victorian era. He received highest honors in mathematics, classics, and theology at St. John's College, Cambridge, and in 1862 began a brilliant career, during which he served as schoolmaster of some of England's outstanding schools. At the same time he distinguished himself as a scholar, and in 1889 he retired to his studies. Although "Flatland, a literary jeu d'esprit, " has given pleasure to thousands of readers over many generations, Abbott is best known for his scholarly works, especially his "Shakespearian Grammar "and his life of Francis Bacon, and for a number of theological discussions.

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