Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions Paperback – 1 Jun 2007
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"Part mathematical exploration, part satire, and part fairy tale, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbot has been around for more than a century and remains a standard in mathematics education...The Broadview Edition of the book combines the text with a variety of notes and essays that enhance the reading and study of this classic." - Bill Wood, The Mathematical Association of America
"Handing its reader the full range of Abbott's cultural sources and pedagogical motives in one volume, Lila Marz Harper's edition of Flatland is a welcome event. Her detailed introduction provides a comprehensive overview of Flatland's intellectual landscape and a generous sampling of current critical discussion. The content of the appendices is well chosen; especially useful is the lengthy selection from Jowett's translation of Plato's allegory of the Cave. Placing Abbott's perennial mathematical parable and curious social critique squarely into its Victorian contexts, Harper also traces Flatland's deep philosophical roots and spiritual aspirations." - Bruce Clarke, Texas Tech University
"Among the most enduring works of Victorian fiction, Flatland justly continues to attract both popular and scholarly attention. Lila Marz Harper's richly annotated edition rewards readers by illuminating a variety of perspectives that can be profitably adopted when exploring Abbott's imaginative worlds today. Her introduction effectively contextualizes Flatland as reflecting mathematical innovations, progressive hermeneutics, spiritualism, social institutions, and national identity in nineteenth-century England. The meticulously compiled appendices are invaluable for providing contemporaneous responses and intellectual alternatives to, as well as appropriations of, Abbott's genre-defying work. Harper has made an outstanding, multidimensional contribution to Flatland scholarship." - K. G. Valente, Colgate University --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
""Flatland" has and always will be a fun and fascinating journey, showing us again how the world of mathematics can expand the mind and take the imagination to places where it didn't know it could play."--Danica McKellar, actress and author of the best-selling "Math Doesn't Suck"
"A fascinating look behind the scenes of the best "Flatland" movie yet. Long live A Square!"--Rudy Rucker, author of "The Fourth Dimension" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It had me thinking for weeks.
The first is the Point, utterly convinced, in the teeth of all the evidence, of the non-existence of everything but itself. Then we meet (in a dream) the King of Lineland, who prefers to believe that the Square is a mutant woman, rather than believe in a two-dimensional space (I promise I'm not making this up). Then we have A. Square, our narrator, who has to be forced to accept the reality of three dimensions by being forcibly removed from Flatland.
And, almost at the end of the book, the Sphere, who, until now has seemed to represent enlightened wisdom, shows his own flaws, by reacting angrily and petulantly to the suggestion of fourth, fifth or higher dimensions.
The Sphere is definitely not meant to be divine - he's just as limited in vision as all the other characters. I hardly think that a clergyman would be so unflattering about Jesus.
Square is an inhabitant of an infinite flat plane (hence the title of the book) whose inhabitants, flat shapes, are totally unaware of the existence of a third "upward" dimension completely different from their north-south and east-west ones. Sphere, from our world, views Flatlanders as ignorant, and tries to show Square the delights of higher dimensions, as well as showing him the "squalor" of his lower dimensional "lineland" and "pointland" cousins...
There is a delightful class system which ranks flatlanders according to how many sides they have (circles are regarded as the highest class of clergymen) but all women are straight lines, indicating the somewhat Victorian outlook of the author. Also interesting is Sphere's hypocritical reluctance to accept a fourth dimension, as Square refused to accept a third.
Charming and simple, this book really makes you think about the nature of space itself (not an easy task!)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favourite books ever.
Product was high quality, although a slightly unusual size.
Edward A. Abbott was a 19th century theologian and schoolmaster. He published this work in 1884. Based in part on the number of Amazon reviews, it remains well-read today. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John P. Jones III
Amazing story, seriously, but defective version. The premium paperback edition claims to be illustrated but it's missing diagrams and the only images it has are random and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lola
I have wanted to read Flatland since I read the reference to it in Gödel Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid which was a set text at university. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Phil Leader
After hearing about this book throughout my life through various other people referencing it - like Carl Sagan in his series, Cosmos - I thought it was time that I should read it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by G. Reading
Beautiful book, everyone should read it. Really stop reading this review and go read the book.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Shocking,elitist and sexist with hints of free masonary. I bought this book for the mathematical concepts which are pretty dull but from a socio-political point of view it gives... Read morePublished 5 months ago by lime stone
The writer, Mr Abbott, as well as being a distinguished head teacher, also possessed a biting wit and sense of humour. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Geoff Saunders