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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott
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Flatland Quotes Showing 1-30 of 59
“...learn this lesson, that to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy..”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Upward, not Northward”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Behold yon miserable creature. That Point is a Being like ourselves, but confined to the non-dimensional Gulf. He is himself his own World, his own Universe; of any other than himself he can form no conception; he knows not Length, nor Breadth, nor Height, for he has had no experience of them; he has no cognizance even of the number Two; nor has he a thought of Plurality, for he is himself his One and All, being really Nothing. Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn this lesson, that to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Like all great art, it defies the tyrant Time.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“I call our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers, who are privileged to live in Space.”
Edwin Abbott Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“I have actually known a case where a Woman has exterminated her whole household, and half an hour afterwards, when her rage was over and the fragments swept away, has asked what has become of her husband and her children.”
Edwin Abbott Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Either this is madness or it is Hell.” “It is neither,” calmly replied the voice of the Sphere, “it is Knowledge; it is Three Dimensions: open your eye once again and try to look steadily.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“In One Dimensions, did not a moving Point produce a Line with two terminal points?
In two Dimensions, did not a moving Line produce a Square wit four terminal points?
In Three Dimensions, did not a moving Square produce - did not the eyes of mine behold it - that blessed being, a Cube, with eight terminal points?
And in Four Dimensions, shall not a moving Cube - alas, for Analogy, and alas for the Progress of Truth if it be not so - shall not, I say the motion of a divine Cube result in a still more divine organization with sixteen terminal points?
Behold the infallible confirmation of the Series, 2, 4, 8, 16: is not this a Geometrical Progression? Is not this - if I might qupte my Lord's own words - "Strictly according to Analogy"?
Again, was I not taught by my Lord that as in a Line there are two bonding points, and in a Square there are four bounding Lines, so in a Cube there must be six bounding Squares? Behold once more the confirming Series: 2, 4, 6: is not this an Arithmetical Progression? And consequently does it not of necessity follow that the more divine offspring of the divine Cube in the Land of Four Dimensions, must have eight bounding Cubes: and is not this also, as my Lord has taught me to believe, "strictly according to analogy"?”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Distress not yourself if you cannot at first understand the deeper mysteries of Spaceland. By degrees they will dawn upon you.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“It fills all Space, and what It fills, It is. What It thinks, that It utters; and what It utters, that It hears; and It itself is Thinker, Utterer, Hearer, Thought, Word, Audition; it is the One, and yet the All in All. Ah, the happiness, ah, the happiness of Being!”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Doubtless we cannot see that other higher Spaceland now, because we have no eye in our stomachs.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“All this very plausible reasoning does not convince me, as it has not convinced the wisest of our Statesmen, that our ancestors erred in laying it down as an axiom of policy that the toleration of Irregularity is incompatible with the safety of the State.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Doubtless, the life of an Irregular is hard; but the interests of the Greater Number require that it shall be hard.”
Edwin Abbott Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below it, very much like shadows—only hard with luminous edges—and you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country and countrymen. Alas, a few years ago, I should have said "my universe:" but now my mind has been opened to higher views of things. In such a country, you will perceive at once that it is impossible that there should be anything of what you call a "solid" kind; but I dare say you will suppose that we could at least distinguish by sight the Triangles, Squares, and other figures, moving about as I have described them. On the contrary, we could see nothing of the kind, not at least so as to distinguish one figure from another. Nothing was visible, nor could be visible, to us, except Straight Lines; and the necessity of this I will speedily demonstrate.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“My Lord, you own wisdom has taught me to aspire to One even more great, more beautiful, and more closely approximate to perfection than yourself. As you yourself, superior to all Flatland forms, combine many Circles in One, so doubtless there is One above you who combines many Spheres in One Supreme Existence, surpassing even the Solids of Spaceland. And even as we, who are now in Space, look down on Flatland and see the inside of all things, so of a certainly there is yet above us some higher, purer region, whither thou dost surely purpose to lead me - O Thou Whome I shall always call everywhere and in all Dimensions, my Priest, Philosopher, and Friend - some yet more spacious Space, some more dimensionable Dimensionality, from the vantage-ground of which we shall look down together upon the revealed insides of solid things, and where thine own intestines, and those of thy kindred Spheres, will lie exposed to the View of the poor wandering exile from Flatland, to whome so much has already been vouchsafed.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“If our sides were unequal our angles might be unequal. Instead of its being sufficient to feel, or estimate by sight, a single angle in order to determine the form of an individual, it would be necessary to ascertain each angle by the experiment of Feeling. But life would be too short for such a tedious groping. The whole science and art of Sight Recognition would at once perish; Feeling, so far as it is an art, would not long survive; intercourse would become perilous or impossible; there would be an end to all confidence, all forethought; no one would be safe in making the most simple social arrangements; in a word, civilization would relapse into barbarism.”
Edwin Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“The little Hexagon meditated on this a while and then said to me; "But you have been teaching me to raise numbers to the third power: I suppose three-to-the-third must mean something in Geometry; what does it mean?" "Nothing at all," replied I, "not at least in Geometry; for Geometry has only Two Dimensions." And then I began to shew the boy how a Point by moving through a length of three inches makes a Line of three inches, which may be represented by three; and how a Line of three inches, moving parallel to itself through a length of three inches, makes a Square of three inches every way, which may be represented by three-to-the-second. xxx Upon this, my Grandson, again returning to his former suggestion, took me up rather suddenly and exclaimed, "Well, then, if a Point by moving three inches, makes a Line of three inches represented by three; and if a straight Line of three inches, moving parallel to itself, makes a Square of three inches every way, represented by three-to-the-second; it must be that a Square of three inches every way, moving somehow parallel to itself (but I don't see how) must make Something else (but I don't see what) of three inches every way—and this must be represented by three-to-the-third."

"Go to bed," said I, a little ruffled by this interruption: "if you would talk less nonsense, you would remember more sense.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“If a man with a triangular front and a polygonal back were allowed to exist and to propagate a still more Irregular posterity, what would become of the arts of life? Are the houses and doors and churches in Flatland to be altered in order to accommodate such monsters?”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“¡Oh ser ignorante y obstinado! Os creéis la perfección de la existencia y sois en realidad el más imperfecto y estúpido de todos los seres. ¡Os ufanáis de ver, cuando no podéis ver, más que un punto! Os vanagloráis de deducir la existencia de una línea recta; pero yo puedo ver líneas rectas y deducir la existencia de ángulos, triángulos, cuadrados, pentágonos, hexágonos e incluso círculos. ¿Por qué desperdiciar más palabras? Basta con decir que soy la plenitud de vuestro yo incompleto. Vois sois una línea, pero yo soy una línea de líneas, lo que en mi país se llama un cuadrado: e incluso yo, pese a ser infinitamente superior a vos, soy poca cosa entre los grandes nobles de Planilandia, de donde he venido a visitaros, con la esperanza de iluminar vuestra ignorancia.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Planilandia
“Once a Woman, always a Woman" is a Decree of Nature; and the very Laws of Evolution seem suspended in her disfavour. Yet at least we can admire the wise Prearrangement which has ordained that, as they have no hopes, so they shall have no memory to recall, and no forethought to anticipate, the miseries and humiliations which are at once a necessity of their existence and the basis of the constitution of Flatland.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
tags: women
“I neglected my clients and my own business to give myself to the contemplation of the mysteries which I had once beheld, yet which I could impart to no one, and found daily more difficult to reproduce even before my own mental vision.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“There are not wanting, it is true, some promulgators of paradoxes who maintain that there is no necessary connection between geometrical and moral Irregularity.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“[W]alking sometimes in a perfectly desolate plain where there have been no houses nor trees to guide me, I have been occasionally compelled to remain stationary for hours together, waiting till the rain came before continuing my journey.”
Edwin Abbott Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Few are the hearts whose happy lot it is at once to recognize in each other's voices the partner intended for them by Providence, and to fly into a reciprocal and perfectly harmonious embrace. With most of us the courtship is of long duration.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“the birth of children is too important a matter to have been allowed to depend upon such an accident as proximity.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn this lesson, that to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy.”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Well, then, if a Point by moving three inches, makes a Line of three inches represented by 3; and if a straight Line of three inches, moving parallel to itself, makes a Square of three inches every way, represented by 32; it must be that a Square of three inches every way, moving somehow parallel to itself (but I don’t see how) must make Something else (but I don’t see what) of three inches every way—and this must be represented by 33.” “Go to bed,” said I, a little ruffled by his interruption: “if you would talk less nonsense, you would remember more sense.” So”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“all alike the Slaves of our respective Dimensional prejudices,”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“For why should the thirst for knowledge be aroused, only to be disappointed and punished?”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
“Moreover a blunt and stolid regard for literal truth indisposes them to make those lavish promises by which the more judicious Circle can in a moment pacify his consort. The result is massacre;”
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

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