The Emergence of the Fourth Dimension: Higher Spatial Thinking in the Fin de Siècle
The idea of the fourth dimension of space has been of sustained interest to nineteenth-century and Modernist studies since the publication of Linda Dalrymple Henderson's The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art (1983). An idea from mathematics that was appropriated by occultist thought, it emerged in the fin de siècle as a staple of genre fiction and grew to become an informing idea for a number of important Modernist writers and artists. Describing the post-Euclidean intellectual landscape of the late nineteenth century, The Emergence of the Fourth Dimension works with the concepts derived from the mathematical possibilities of n-dimensional geometry--co-presence, bi-location, and interpenetration; the experiences of two consciousnesses sharing the same space, one consciousness being in two spaces, and objects and consciousness pervading each other--to examine how a crucially transformative idea in the cultural history of space was thought and to consider the forms in which such thought was anchored. It identifies a corpus of higher-dimensional fictions by Conrad and Ford, H.G. Wells, Henry James, H.P. Lovecraft, and others and reads these closely to understand how fin de siècle and early twentieth-century literature shaped and were in turn shaped by the reconfiguration of imaginative space occasioned by the n-dimensional turn. In so doing it traces the intellectual history of higher-dimensional thought into diverse terrains, describing spiritualist experiments and how an extended abstract space functioned as an analogue for global space in occult groupings such as the Theosophical Society.
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Conditions of Emergence Kant Helmholtz and Analogy
Knots Topology Conjuring and the Spiritualist Fourth Dimension
A Square Flatland Play and Tradition
Cubes Hintonian Higher Space and its Thinking Subject
Through The Theosophical Society Authority and Mediation
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Abbott abstract Anon argued Astral Plane Blavatsky body British C.W. Leadbeater Cambridge century chapter Charles Howard Hinton concept consciousness critical cubes cultural described developed dimensional analogy edition essay ether Fechner fiction figures fin de siècle Flatland four-dimensional fourth dimension Helmholtz Henry higher space higher spatial higher-dimensional higher-dimensioned space Hintonian human imagination James Journal Kant Kant's knot Leadbeater literary London Luckhurst Massey material mathematical mathematician matter metaphor metaphysical mind mirror Möbius models Modern Mummy narrative nature nineteenth-century Nitocris non-Euclidean geometry novel objects observed occult phenomena philosophy physical popular Professor published reader relation Review satire Science Scientific Romances sense Slade space of four Spaceland spatial thought speculations Sphere spiritual spiritualist spissitude Square Square's Stead Steven Connor story structure Swan Sonnenschein Tait theory Theosophical Society Theosophists things thinking three dimensions three-dimensional space trans translation University Press Unseen Victorian vision W.K. Clifford writing Zöllner