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."
The book is narrated from the view point of the protagonist - a square who lives in a two-dimensional world. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Priya
Delightful book! And I happened serendipitously to read it just before Interstellar came out. This is required reading.Published 18 days ago by Alexandra Bloom
This classic, insightful story is a stark reminder of how courage and reasoning evolves world views. Over the years I'd read many references to Flatland. Read morePublished 18 days ago by JK
Excellent. Highly recommend it. The point of view of A. Square is delicious. Altho this is over one hundred years old, it's still timely today. Read morePublished 21 days ago by sluefoot_sue
This book is so entertaining! I saw the humor of it immediately. Very much like our society today.Published 25 days ago by apinidaho
This version of the book is without the graphics, and the plaintext does not do justice to the contents of the book at all.Published 25 days ago by Sarang
The struggle of explaining concept, that is out of direct experience, yet manifests itself
Recommend as easy read and thought provoking