Flatland is populated by Squares, Triangles, Circles, and Lines, all of which are strictly divided by class and gender. However, our narrator, A Square, living a practical life in this two-dimensional universe, dreams of other worlds. Perhaps A Sphere, a figure from a three-dimensional realm, can help drive home the point. But, as A Square soon discovers, educating Flatland about the shapes of things to come proves to be a dangerous infraction.
Published in 1884, Abbott’s intricately imaginative novella, which became a classic in the era of Einstein, was a skewering of social hierarchy that inspired Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and anyone who dared to think—literally—outside the box.More info →