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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."
Very good read if you are interested in the philosophy behind the story. It does a good job of painting universes of less than three dimensions. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Logan Gallaway
I made it about 40 pages and gave up. At first I enjoyed the description of the flatland but it didn't move fast enough. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Eric
Published in 1884, it reads like it was written yesterday. I loved the part where the 2-dimensional being realizes there's a third dimension. A worthy read.Published 19 days ago by David Kramer
Relic of its time. The description of the different dimensions was awesome- but that's about ten of seventy pages of fluff that's kind of a relic of it's time.Published 22 days ago by Mike
Disclaimer: it's important to try and visualize the expository and explanatory segments as much as possible. It was hard for me to keep up at times. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Hussam Uddin Syed
I have loved this book since I first read it (early teens). I've given it to several people, and that's the reason I bought this one. Read morePublished 1 month ago by genie
I really enjoyed this book. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who enjoys math or geometry. I loved all of the abstract imagery. Read morePublished 1 month ago by xBelleMauvaisx