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For today’s Coffee Hour lets talk about books that changed our lives when we were young. For me it was a book I read in the seventh grade called Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott.

So, beyond the fold, I will get this Coffee Hour started by sharing a few things about Flatland. Everyone is welcome to have a cup of our favorite beverage and talk about books that influenced us, dinner plans, or what ever you want to. This is an Open Thread.

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott. Writing pseudonymously as "A Square", Abbott used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to offer pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions.

From Wikipedia: Flatland

Originally posted to Street Prophets on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cookie Jar - N/T (12+ / 0-)

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 11:42:12 PM PDT

  •  Flatland was one of two for me. (8+ / 0-)

    The other was Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:15:01 PM PDT

  •  Good afternoon! (8+ / 0-)

    I read a lot as a child and am still an avid reader.
    A lot of books that I read as a child belonged to my older brothers - they had boxes and boxes of paperbacks in a room upstairs that we called the "play room" but it was more of a storage room.

    Anyway, I read a lot of books that I maybe shouldn't have read - LOL - but as far as I can tell, I don't think any of them books corrupted me or made me a sex fiend or anything.
    They made no impression on me that I can remember. I just read the books because they were there and some were really quite good and very few were X-rated.
    One thing that occurred to me much later was that the 2 brothers whose books I read are gay and well, I guess they were more than curious yellow - remember that book?
    Me neither, but I did read it as a child.

    I can't say that any book changed my life until I was well into my 30s and the book that impacted me was Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking.
    That book did truly change my life and helped me tremendously with self-esteem.

    Has been a busy day so far and am only on a break because it's not over yet.
    Have been so busy that I just ate breakfast maybe a half hour ago.
    I need to take a shower and go back out.
    Hope everyone is having a fine day!

  • that book in Jr. High... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, slksfca, texasmom

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

    by paradise50 on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:20:10 PM PDT

  •  Dharma Bums. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slksfca, FloridaSNMOM
  •  "Flatland" and "Sphereland" should be required... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...reading for all high school seniors, IMHO. I took an elective high school class in Theoretical Physics--very little "science," virtually all narrative--in my senior year where we read both (an early, bootlegged [if I recall, and I could be wrong] translation of Flatland). Very few books changed my view of the world like these two books have. If you have even an ounce of creativity in your head, you should be all over these two works. I refer back to them in my thinking, in general, at least once every few months. I have ever since I was 18, in fact! Absolute BRILLIANCE!

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 03:06:34 PM PDT

  •  Sh*t, I'm getting old! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Read Sphereland, a few years after reading Flatland in h.s.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 03:08:02 PM PDT

  •  I tried to read this last year... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I found it confusing and impossible to read. Maybe it's my dyscalculia kicking in. I couldn't get it. It was like trying to understand instructions written in swahili or something. Maybe it just wasn't my thing. Either way, I don't think I'm making my kids read it.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 03:54:00 PM PDT

  •  reading Thompson's Oz (0+ / 0-)

    After L. Frank Baum died the Oz series (the many sequels to The Wizard of Oz) was continued by an author hired by Baum's publisher, Reilly & Lee. When I was a kid all the Oz books by that author, Ruth Plumly Thompson, were out of print. I loved the Baum books, but the Thompson books, only the titles of which were accessible, became magically exotic because I could only imagine their contents. When I got old enough to have my own money I pursued them. Thompson wrote 19 Oz books. Because they weren't easy to find I read them as I got them, basically in a random order. As I'm going to an Oz Convention this summer I decided to read them all again, for the first time in the order in which they were written. They're pretty fun. I'm currently reading Captain Salt in Oz in which the captain of the title goes around the ocean finding islands to claim for the Ozian empire. Although it's not necessary to read them in order, you do then have the opportunity to understand those glancing references to earlier books.

    The best Thompson book is Speedy in Oz. But they're all fun. Some who love Baum do not love Thompson. Hey, it's a matter of taste. She's more into slapstick than he was. Plus she was more politically conservative. She tossed aside a lot of Baum's utopian ideas and concentrated on magic and kingdoms.

    As to Flatland, I remember getting turned on to it by a version presented on public television. The book wasn't quite as fun as the TV version in my opinion, but it's definitely worth a go.

    I found the TV version. It's from Carl Sagan's COSMOS!
    Carl Sagan Videos: Flatlanders and Higher... by CarlSaganVideos

  •  Flatland (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I just lent my Dad's copy of that book to my grandnephew. He is 17 and was asking if I knew anything about that book and I pulled it out of my library and handed it to him. Got more brownie points for that. Another reason why he introduces me to his friends as "my kick-ass Aunt".

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 04:29:00 PM PDT

  •  Flatland is one of the most important political (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    books of all time, even though it pretends to be all about math. The biggest questions we have are, what questions are we not asking? What questions are we forbidden to ask? What questions do we all pretend we know the answers to? What questions do we not even have words to ask? More fundamentally:

    Is this real?

    How do you know?

    Why should you believe me?

    I collect such questions in a historical sense, and apply them to education in a wide range of topics, including math, physics, civics, and economics. What questions did this or that civilization not ask that others did? Why?

    Well, we know what questions the Creationists, the Global Warming Denialists, the Tea Parties, and the Market Fundamentalists don't want us asking, and which directions they don't want us to be able to even think of going.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 04:40:53 PM PDT

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