Sunday, October 21, 2012

Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott - Ashley's Pre-Reading

Title: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
Author: Edwin A Abbott
Year Published: 1882

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Classic of science (and mathematical) fiction — charmingly illustrated by author — describes the journeys of A. Square and his adventures in Spaceland (three dimensions), Lineland (one dimension) and Pointland (no dimensions). A. Square also entertains thoughts of visiting a land of four dimensions — a revolutionary idea for which he is banished from Spaceland.

 As a math major, I think this will be a really interesting book. I'm curious to see how a two dimensional being would perceive one dimension, three dimensions, and even four dimensions. And to see how one would go about explaining those kinds of things to people/beings/etc. who exist in more or less dimensions. 

Expectations: I expect a highly theoretical book. It will probably be very difficult to read at times, and I expect to have to go back and read some passages. I'm sure parts will read like a textbook. But I also think it will be very interesting.

Judging a book by its cover: This particular cover has lines everywhere, and I assume lines will be very important to Flatlandians. I might pick up this book if I saw it on a shelf, but it depends on which of the covers the bookstore/library had in stock.


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