Monday, September 7, 2009

Book 7/60: Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott

I can think of nothing that I can add to preface this book that would sufficiently expand on the following two thoughts. First, from the new introduction by Valerie Smith:

"Abbot's other works have been fairly easy to classify, but Flatland has been referred to variously as a mathematical or scientific novel, a social satire, a work of science fiction and fantasy, a philosophical treatise, a mystical adventure, an artistic inspiration, a fictional work of travel, and 'a very puzzling book.'"

Second, the description from the book's back cover:

"With wry humor and penetrating satire, Flatland takes us on a mind-expanding journey into a different world to give us a new vision of our own. A. Square, the slightly befuddled narrator, is born into a place limited to two dimensions--irrevocably flat--and peopled by a heirarchy of geometrical forms. On a tour of his bizarre homeland like that taken by Gulliver, A. Square spins a fascinating tale of domestic drama and political turmoil, from sex among consenting triangles to the intentional subjugation of Flatland's females. He tells of visits to Lineland, the world of one dimension, and Pointland, the world of no dimension. But when A. Square dares to speak openly of a third, or even a fourth, dimension, his tragic fate climaxes a brilliant parody of Victorian society."

All righty, then.

Stats: 147 pages
First published: 1884
This edition published: 2005, Signet Classics (a division of Penguin Group, USA)
Major awards: Apparently none

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