Flatland - A Romance of Many Dimensions
Written by Edwin A. Abbott. Edited and Illustrated by Steve Unwin
In Flatland, the narrator - a square, guides us through life in two dimensions, describing the structure of culture, relationships and constraints imposed on its inhabitants by the way they see their world. In doing so he draws strong parallels with the society and times within which it was written, many of which are still echoed today.
Perhaps more interestingly he also explores the difficulties of escaping our ‘mental picture’ of the world. Square is perplexed at the difficulty inhabitants of the one-dimensional world of Lineland have in understanding his two-dimensional world, but this experience does little to prepare him for his own challenge of comprehending the three-dimensional world of Spaceland.
The result is a powerful exploration of how impervious to change our perceptions become and how fraught with difficulty communication between different ‘world’s’ can be.
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