Flatland

Flatland

by Edwin A. Abbott

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Overview

Flatland is a satirical novella by Edwin Abbott Abbott. Writing pseudonymously as "A Square", the book used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to offer pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions. The story is about a two-dimensional world referred to as Flatland which is occupied by geometric figures. Women are simple line-segments, while men are polygons with various numbers of sides. The narrator is a humble square, a member of the social caste of gentlemen and professionals in a society of geometric figures, who guides the readers through some of the implications of life in two dimensions. The Square has a dream about a visit to a one-dimensional world (Lineland) which is inhabited by "lustrous points". He attempts to convince the realm's ignorant monarch of a second dimension but finds that it is essentially impossible to make him see outside of his eternally straight line. He is then visited by a three-dimensional sphere, which he cannot comprehend until he sees Spaceland for himself. This Sphere (who remains nameless, like all characters in the novella) visits Flatland at the turn of each millennium to introduce a new apostle to the idea of a third dimension in the hopes of eventually educating the population of Flatland of the existence of Spaceland. From the safety of Spaceland, they are able to observe the leaders of Flatland secretly acknowledging the existence of the sphere and prescribing the silencing of anyone found preaching the truth of Spaceland and the third dimension. After this proclamation is made, many witnesses are massacred or imprisoned (according to caste).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783736807709
Publisher: BookRix
Publication date: 06/27/2019
Sold by: Bookwire
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 135
File size: 601 KB

About the Author

Edwin A. Abbott (1838-1926) was headmaster at City of London School. He was Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge in 1876 and Select Preacher at Oxford in the succeeding year. He retired in 1889, devoting himself to literary and theological pursuits. Dr. Abbott's liberal inclinations in theology were prominent both in his educational views and in his books. His 'Shakespearean Grammar' (1870) is a permanent contribution to English philology. In 1885 he published a life of Francis Bacon.

Table of Contents

Introduction William F. Lindgren and Thomas F. Banchoff; Part I. This World: 1. Of the nature of Flatland; 2. Of the climate and houses in Flatland; 3. Concerning the inhabitants of Flatland; 4. Concerning the women; 5. Of our methods of recognizing one another; 6. Of recognition by sight; 7. Concerning irregular figures; 8. Of the ancient practice of painting; 9. Of the universal colour bill; 10. Of the suppression of the chromatic sedition; 11. Concerning our priests; 12. Of the doctrine of our priests; Part II. Other Worlds: 13. How I had a vision of Lineland; 14. How in my vision I endeavoured to explain the nature of Flatland, but could not; 15. Concerning a stranger from Spaceland; 16. How the stranger vainly endeavoured to reveal to me in words the mysteries of Spaceland; 17. How the sphere, having in vain tried words, resorted to deeds; 18. How I came to Spaceland and what I saw there; 19. How, though the sphere showed me other mysteries of Spaceland, I still desired more, and what came of it; 20. How the sphere encouraged me in a vision; 21. How I tried to teach the theory of three dimensions to my grandson, and with what success; 22. How I then tried to diffuse the theory of three dimensions by other means, and of the result; Appendix A. Critical reaction to Flatland; Appendix B. Biography and chronology of Edwin A. Abbott; References and recommended reading.

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