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."
Such an original work that pulls the reader in many different directions but brings you back to the main idea, that everything we know is only based on the knowledge of the world... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Jess
Was introduced to Flatland by our 10th grade Math teacher - and can't wait to read it again. An extremely novel perspective. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Jan Maier
What a cool book, what an incredible imagination Abbott had. I expected it to be corny or cheesy but it wasn't, it was really deep. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gets Around
30 years ago a project manager that I worked with recommended this book to improve my ability to abstract about the world. It was worth reading... Thanks Tony D.Published 1 month ago by Parzival
I, being the personified crave for knowledge that I am, had my eyes adhered to this masterpiece. Within this book await worlds you never thought you would expose any granule of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Personified Erratic Curiosity