Windows there are none in our houses: for the light comes to us alike in our homes and out of them, by day and by night, equally at all times and in all places, whence we know not. It was in old days, with our learned men, an interesting and oft-investigate question, "What is the origin of light?" and the solution of it has been repeatedly attempted, with no other result than to crowd our lunatic asylums with the would-be solvers. Hence, after fruitless attempts to suppress such investigations indirectly by making them liable to a heavy tax, the Legislature, in comparatively recent times, absolutely prohibited them. I--alas, I alone in Flatland--know now only too well the true solution of this mysterious problem; but my knowledge cannot be made intelligible to a single one of my countrymen; and I am mocked at --I, the sole possessor of the truths of Space and of the theory of the introduction of Light from the world of three Dimensions--as if I were the maddest of the mad! But a truce to these pain
Just finished reading it earlier today. This book is, in its entirety, thought-provoking. The obscenity of the third dimension, to flatland, is how we see our "upper dimensions." Once readers reach the climax, they'll understand the issue in as many as four dimensions, and as little as none.
Great book. Abbott uses a mathematical exercise (imagining life in 2 dimensions) to pass commentary on social structure and sometimes even religion. I loved the book--the setting is creative and the concept is thorough. I am an engineer, but math is not needed to appreciate this book.