Erik Graff's Reviews > Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott
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's review
Oct 31, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: sciences
Recommended to Erik by: Diggers
Recommended for: everyone

The Diggers were an egalitarian, communistic movement in seventeenth century England, the bane of Roundheads and Royalists alike. Grinnell College had its own Diggers who, among other things, maintained a free store in what had once been the cloakroom downstairs in Loose Hall, my dorm. Among the discarded clothing, records, tapes and furniture there I found this edition of Abbott's Flatland, a book I'd heard good things about.

The reading of it took a couple of hours--time well spent as the story was at once entertaining and mind-opening. I had not appreciated, however, that the author was addressing not just human narrow mindedness in general but was also making a theological point reminiscent, on retrospect, to the tapestry metaphor employed by some to explain the notion of an eternal, omnipresent omniscience to we poor humans of spatio-temporally limited intelligence.

ps This is a great gift book.

pps The first time I tried to read the Gospel of Matthew was while tripping one warm fall night in the Herrick Chapel at Grinnell, my thoughts turned to sin, grace and eternity. The dose was relatively low, but the words appeared as if seen through panes of wet glass. I was about to give up and had gone outside to the front steps when, in the distance, I heard the growing sounds of kazoos and shouting. Then, illuminated by a street lamp, I saw coming down Park Street an enormous yellow banana, a Chicita Banana to be precise, held triumphantly between a male student's thighs. Behind him were outlandishly dressed fellow students, each carrying a box overflowing with stuff. They were Grinnell's Diggers, on their way to replenish the free store.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 1, 1971 – Finished Reading
October 31, 2008 – Shelved
October 31, 2008 – Shelved as: sciences

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