ISBN-10:
0521769884
ISBN-13:
9780521769884
Pub. Date:
11/27/2009
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Flatland: An Edition with Notes and Commentary

Flatland: An Edition with Notes and Commentary

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Overview

Flatland, Edwin Abbott Abbott's story of a two-dimensional universe, as told by one of its inhabitants who is introduced to the mysteries of three-dimensional space, has enjoyed an enduring popularity from the time of its publication in 1884. This fully annotated edition enables the modern-day reader to understand and appreciate the many "dimensions" of this classic satire. Mathematical notes and illustrations enhance the usefulness of Flatland as an elementary introduction to higher-dimensional geometry. Historical notes show connections to late-Victorian England and to classical Greece. Citations from Abbott's other writings as well as the works of Plato and Aristotle serve to interpret the text. Commentary on language and literary style includes numerous definitions of obscure words. An appendix gives a comprehensive account of the life and work of Flatland's remarkable author.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521769884
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/27/2009
Series: Spectrum
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

William F. Lindgren is a Professor of Mathematics at Slippery Rock University. He is the author of Quasi-Uniform Spaces (1982) with Peter Fletcher and has given many talks about Flatland at various conferences, including the Joint Meetings of the AMS/MAA.

Thomas F. Banchoff is a Professor of Mathematics at Brown University. He is the author of Beyond the Third Dimension and Linear Algebra Through Geometry (with John Wermer) and the editor of a reprint of Henry P. Manning's The Fourth Dimension Simply Explained.

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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Flatland 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 153 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read, don't buy it though. You can get it for free in public domain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is going to be really corny, but it's true. This book influenced my decision to pursue mathematics and science as a career. Parts of it are a little dry, but these are the social commentary sections. I credit the rest of this book with equipping me to visualize higher dimensions. Definitely worth a read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend this as required reading for any geometry student and/or anyone who has ever given the slightest thought to dimensions other than our lovely 3rd dimension.
Kim_Duppy More than 1 year ago
My friends in the literature department will tell you that this is a clever novel about Victorian England. If that's all it were, I couldn't recommend it to anyone. In point of fact, this book is a kind of bare bones look at culture itself (not merely Victorian Culture). By reducing everything to shapes, the author manages to show how cultures evolve—or perhaps better put: how nature influences the development of culture. Plus, if you don't know much about geometry (I don't), you may learn a little about that as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This must be the best book I have read in years! It helped me understand mathematically and logically understand other dimensions as well as our own. This book will give you a glimpse of what living in a two dimensional world might look like, and also an Idea of what the fourth dimension might have in store in a logical manner. It also has a fantastic story and description of a two-dimensional culture, government and relationships. I strongly recommend it for geometry or advanced algebra students or anybody who wants a better understanding of multiple dimensions!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an excellent choice for future math teachers. I am a junior in college getting my BA in Middle Level Math Education. This is an excellent book that will help understand demensions beyond our own.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've recommended this book to my students of Geometry, especially those who will be teachers. This is a delightful guide to the understanding dimensions beyond our own. Must be cautioned that it does seem sexist - maybe a reflection of the time it was written.
Anonymous 8 months ago
An absolute pleasure to experience and shocking to discover its origin of 1884 whence I, a humble resident of Spaceland, encounter it now for the first time in this year 2019, some 135 years later. Yet it’s truths still inspire and enlighten one to contemplate those further dimensions that we cannot name in direction but can conceptualize with the imagination.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great way to conceptualize dimension increments. Iconic, classic work. As a story ... meh. This is a case where I recommend watching the video (faster) vs. reading the book.
dandelionroots on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read the annotated version, which I think was a poor decision. Many of Stewart's side notes weren't terribly interesting or illuminating, and much of the explanation was unnecessary (although parts of it I did appreciate). Abbott's work however is brilliant. I love the satire. The journey through Pointland, Lineland, Flatland, Spaceland and beyond (nonsense!) is epic-ly amazing.
ieJasonW on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Many people, when discussing complicated issues like religion or god, do not understand what it means to observe an entity that exists in a space that has one dimension more than themselves. Conversely, they often do not consider what it means to understand how they might be seen by an entity that exists in a space with one dimension less than their own. While these points are not surprising on their own -- beings in other dimensions are not obvious things! -- what is surprising is the lack of use of this information by those who advocate the existence of such beings (ie. God). I think Flatland provides fodder for many deists but is, unfortunately, neglected by the same.
rretzler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I find it very interesting that this book was written 130 years ago and has survived so long, but not many have heard of it. I found it an intriguing book - a reflection of society at the time, which in some ways still holds true today. It has a definite religious theme, as well as a philosophical one. While I cannot say that I liked it, I'm glad that I read it, because it was indeed thought-provoking, which I'm guessing was what the author intended. I would say that it is a must read - and should definitely be on that list of classics which everyone should read. It was an easy read as well, however, I believe it may help if you have a basic understanding of geometry.
BrynDahlquis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A short, surreal trip that makes me very curious and almost suspicious about life. Never before have I enjoyed geometry so much, and I'll probably never look at it the same way again.
Liberuno on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book thinking that I was just going to get a quick humorous read on geometry. I didn't expect a short story told from the point of view of a square in a plane to hold so many interesting questions ranging in subject: from metaphysics and religion to discrimination.This short book is definitely worth reading.
jorgecardoso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is a great little book by Edwin Abbott. Flatland is a mathematical adventure on geometry. It takes place on a two-dimensional world with a strict hierarchical society based on the shape of its individuals and it describes the consequences of the adventure of one of those individuals (a square) through the realms of three-dimensions. It's a great book that makes us think about more-than-three-dimensional spaces and objects through analogy with two- and one- and even zero-dimensional worlds. As I read this, I thought it would be interesting to see an animation version of this book, but it turns out there are already some movies on Flatland. There is even a recent one with Martin Sheen (voice).
LaurenGommert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book...even though most of it's way over my head! Still, an awesome book written with a concept that no one has come close to copying since its release. When the book was written readers weren't sure how to classify it, so it got lumped in with sci-fi...which it isn't really. It has more to do with geometrics and philosophy. I bet that's a pair you never thought you'd see together!
fieldri1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Imagine a world where things exist on a plane of two dimensions. There is no up and down at all. People this world with polygons whose social position is ruled by the number of sides they have (triangles are the plebs, circles are the priests) and the class structure is rigidly adhered to.Then imagine of young person in this world who is contacted by a three dimensional sphere and who offers to take her out of her plane world and show her how the universe really is! This is the concept behind Flatland.Part satire on the class structure of Victorian Britain, part teaching aid for teaching euclidian space, this is a classic book, aimed at children, but powerful and thought provoking enough for adults.Its a very slim volume, but the content and its ideas will sit with you for a very long time.
pratchettfan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fascinating allegory on Victorian society told with two and three dimensional geographical figures. Even though written in the late 19th century, aspects of the story about people's sometimes limited world views are still relevant today and the moralities of the book shouldn't be lightly dismissed. At only 80 pages it is a quick read which you shouldn't miss.
TheBooknerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A classic--all fans of science fiction should read this book.
csixty4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had such high hopes for this book. I figured any speculative fiction that stood the test of time so well must be something really special. Instead, I got porn for math geeks. The whole first half of the book, a description of the inhabitants of Flatland, might have been more interesting if the details were revealed through narrative, but the explanations and diagrams would make a good cure for insomnia. The second half was more interesting, and indeed the last bits were exciting. But the cost to get there was too much.
m_dow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Meh. Not great, but it's a really short read and somewhat entertaining. The "flatland" society is actually rather horrific, full of eugenics and chauvinism, but the story is kind of fun. I wouldn't discourage you from reading it, but I'm not going to run around shouting that this is the best book ever.
TheoClarke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A two-dimensional being discovers the third dimension.
aethercowboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Set in a two-dimensional world that could be represented on a large sheet of paper, we meet A. Square, a free thinker in a land ruled by oppressive religious zealots who will hear nothing other than "the world is flat."One day, however, Square meets Sphere, and is bumped out of Flatland and sent on a multidimensional journey.If you've ever been interested in the mathematical concept of dimensions, and want any reason to believe that the fourth dimension is not time, per se, I suggest you read this book, as it will open your eyes to a whole new perspective by likening yourself to Square.
isabelx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Written in the late 19th century, this book is both a mathematical fantasy set in a two-dimensional world and a satire on Victorian society. Sphere from Spaceland tries to explain the 3rd dimension to Square, a resident of Flatland, but refuses to countenance the possibility of a 4th dimension when Square extrapolates further. Very interesting.