Flatland: A Introduction

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Flatland is a fiction written by Edwin A Abbott (1838 to 1926), in 1884. (34 thousand words).

Synopsis

In the first part of the fiction, you'll read a mock-history of humanity. Its class struggle, intrigues, dark politics, and massacres. In the second part, the author leads you sublimely into the mathematical wonders of dimensionality, in ways you cannot refuse to understand.

The quote used in the frontispiece “Fie, fie, how franticly I square my talk” is from Shakespeare's The Tragedy Of Titus Andronicus (1594), Act 3, Scene 2, where the protagonist is becoming mad and talking to himself. Titus is one of the most bloody literature in history.

The quote “O brave new worlds, That have such people in them!”, is a pun from Shakespeare's play The Tempest (1611), which is famously punned in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932).

Thanks to people on alt.usage.english who had given answers to my questions regarding some passages for my annotation. In particular, John Dean, Alan Hope.

Flatland

Part 1, THIS WORLD
PART 2, OTHER WORLDS