Synnøve's Reviews > Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott
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F_50x66
's review
Jun 17, 12

Read in June, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I leave the book buzzing with thoughts and an open-mind– perhaps the best a contemporary reader can get from Flatland. There are criticisms about the language and plot of the novel; since I recently became intrigued by mathematics and geometry as a byproduct, the plot is (quite? very?) satisfying. As for the language, in retrospective, it's sort of grandfatherly.

Abbot makes a world of two-dimensions giving us only senses for "fog" and "feeling", "sight", and "light". Tell me then: is that a circle or a multi-sided polygon? Graduating up a dimension, down a dimension, breaks your head open for thought-food. The better half of the book in my opinion, that wouldn't serve well without the somewhat tedious priming of the first half.

Our sense of security in the way things "are" and therefore they must "be" might be constructs of comforting illusions of our limited perspectives. Made with math, applicable everywhere.

To a Flatlander, the sphere's movements are magic, as with the Linelander's experience with our Square protagonist. I'm weary wondering about "fourth", "fifth" and "sixth" dimensions, but you can't help but wonder. I find that pretty awesome.
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