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Edwin Abbott Abbott

Data de nascimento: 20. Dezembro 1838
Data de falecimento: 12. Outubro 1926

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Edwin Abbott Abbott foi um escritor e erudito inglês.

Foi sucessivamente professor em Birmingham, director da Escola da City, em Londres, professor na universidade de Cambridge e pregador na universidade de Oxford em 1877. Entre as obras que fizeram a sua reputação, cita-se a Gramática shakespeariana publicada em 1870; Bacon, e Essex editado em 1877; Sobre a natureza de Cristo publicado em; etc. Devem-se-lhe também dois romances anónimos: Filocristo e Onesimo . Uma de suas grandes obras é Flatland - A Romance of Many Dimensions.

Com 51 anos, em 1889, Abbott se afastou de todas as suas outras atividades, dedicando-se apenas a uma vida acadêmica, produzindo, a partir de então, numerosas obras: Silanus, the Christian , Apologia: An Explanation and Defense , Message of the Son of Man , Light on the Gospel from an Ancient Poet , de 1913.

Citações Edwin Abbott Abbott

„I call our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers, who are privileged to live in Space.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: I call our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers, who are privileged to live in Space.Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below it, very much like shadows — only hard and with luminous edges — and you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country and countrymen. Alas, a few years ago, I should have said "my universe": but now my mind has been opened to higher views of things. Chapter 1. Of the Nature of Flatland

„I could see many of the younger Counsellors start back in manifest horror, as the Sphere's circular section widened before them.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: I could see many of the younger Counsellors start back in manifest horror, as the Sphere's circular section widened before them. But on a sign from the presiding Circle — who shewed not the slightest alarm or surprise — six Isosceles of a low type from six different quarters rushed upon the Sphere. "We have him," they cried; "No; yes; we have him still! he's going! he's gone!" "My Lords," said the President to the Junior Circles of the Council, "there is not the slightest need for surprise; the secret archives, to which I alone have access, tell me that a similar occurrence happened on the last two millennial commencements. You will, of course, say nothing of these trifles outside the Cabinet." Chapter 18. How I came to Spaceland, and What I Saw There

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„About three hundred years ago, it was decreed by the Chief Circle that, since women are deficient in Reason but abundant in Emotion, they ought no longer to be treated as rational, nor receive any mental education.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: About three hundred years ago, it was decreed by the Chief Circle that, since women are deficient in Reason but abundant in Emotion, they ought no longer to be treated as rational, nor receive any mental education. The consequence was that they were no longer taught to read, nor even to master Arithmetic enough to enable them to count the angles of their husband or children; and hence they sensibly declined during each generation in intellectual power. And this system of female non-education or quietism still prevails.My fear is that, with the best intentions, this policy has been carried so far as to react injuriously on the Male Sex.For the consequence is that, as things now are, we Males have to lead a kind of bi-lingual, and I may almost say bi-mental, existence. With Women, we speak of "love", "duty", "right", "wrong", "pity", "hope", and other irrational and emotional conceptions, which have no existence, and the fiction of which has no object except to control feminine exuberances; but among ourselves, and in our books, we have an entirely different vocabulary and I may almost say, idiom. "Love" then becomes "the anticipation of benefits"; "duty" becomes "necessity" or "fitness"; and other words are correspondingly transmuted. Moreover, among Women, we use language implying the utmost deference for their Sex; and they fully believe that the Chief Circle Himself is not more devoutly adored by us than they are: but behind their backs they are both regarded and spoken of — by all except the very young — as being little better than "mindless organisms". Chapter 12. Of the Doctrine of our Priests

„I groaned with horror, doubting whether I was not out of my senses; but the Stranger continued: "Surely you must now see that my explanation, and no other, suits the phenomena. What you call Solid things are really superficial; what you call Space is really nothing but a great Plane.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: I groaned with horror, doubting whether I was not out of my senses; but the Stranger continued: "Surely you must now see that my explanation, and no other, suits the phenomena. What you call Solid things are really superficial; what you call Space is really nothing but a great Plane. I am in Space, and look down upon the insides of the things of which you only see the outsides. You could leave this Plane yourself, if you could but summon up the necessary volition. A slight upward or downward motion would enable you to see all that I can see. Chapter 17. How the Sphere, Having in Vain Tried Words, Resorted to Deeds

„Well, then, to content and silence you, let me say at once, I would shew you what you wish if I could; but I cannot. Would you have me turn my stomach inside out to oblige you?“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: p>Gracious Teacher, deny me not what I know it is in thy power to perform. Grant me but one glimpse of thine interior, and I am satisfied for ever, remaining henceforth thy docile pupil, thy unemancipable slave, ready to receive all thy teachings and to feed upon the words that fall from thy lips. SPHERE. Well, then, to content and silence you, let me say at once, I would shew you what you wish if I could; but I cannot. Would you have me turn my stomach inside out to oblige you?</p Chapter 19. How, Though the Sphere Showed Me Other Mysteries of Spaceland, I Still Desired More; and What Came of It

„By way of compensation, we must lay far more stress on "Wise" and "Good."“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: Never shall we apprehend the nature of true divinity nor the true divineness of Jesus of Nazareth, the Carpenter's Son, till we learn to moralize our theology, training ourselves to lay less stress on "Almighty" — an epithet characteristic of the silver age of Hebrew literature and of our Anglican Prayer Book, but never once used as an epithet of God by Him who knew Him as He is. By way of compensation, we must lay far more stress on "Wise" and "Good." Paradosis : Or "In the Night in Which He Was (?) Betrayed" (1904), "Introduction : Paradosis or Delivering Up the Soul", p. 7

„When our Lord uttered (or implied) the words "Do this in remembrance of me," He meant "Do as I am doing." And what He was doing was not a mere "dealing" of "bread" but a "drawing out" of the "soul."“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: When our Lord uttered (or implied) the words "Do this in remembrance of me," He meant "Do as I am doing." And what He was doing was not a mere "dealing" of "bread" but a "drawing out" of the "soul." This view does not deny that He also contemplated a continuous celebration of the evening meal of thanksgiving in future generations; but it asserts something more, namely, that He meant a spiritual act, "'Draw out your souls' to one another, and for one another, according to your ability, even as I give my soul, my complete self, delivering it up to you as a gift, and for you as a sacrifice." There is nothing contrary to history and historical development in the belief that Christ taught this doctrine — of self-sacrifice, or losing the soul, of giving the soul as a ransom for others, or drawing out the soul to those in need of help. Paradosis : Or "In the Night in Which He Was (?) Betrayed" (1904), "Introduction : Paradosis or Delivering Up the Soul", p. 6

„The Fourth Gospel is admitted by all Greek scholars to be, in parts, extraordinarily obscure.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: The Fourth Gospel is admitted by all Greek scholars to be, in parts, extraordinarily obscure. No honest writer of history is obscure, as a rule, except through carelessness or ignorance — ignorance, it may be, of the art of writing, or of the subject he is writing about, or of the persons he is addressing, or of the words he is using, but, in any case, ignorance of something. But an honest writer of poetry or prophecy may be consciously obscure because a message, so to speak, has come into his mind in a certain form, and he feels this likely to prove the best form — ultimately, when his readers have thought about it. Johannine Grammar (1906), p. 5

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„That is the hope of my brighter moments. Alas, it is not always so.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: My brother is one of the best of Squares, just, sensible, cheerful, and not without fraternal affection; yet I confess that my weekly interviews, at least in one respect, cause me the bitterest pain. He was present when the Sphere manifested himself in the Council Chamber; he saw the Sphere's changing sections; he heard the explanation of the phenomena then given to the Circles. Since that time, scarcely a week has passed during seven whole years, without his hearing from me a repetition of the part I played in that manifestation, together with ample descriptions of all the phenomena in Spaceland, and the arguments for the existence of Solid things derivable from Analogy. Yet — I take shame to be forced to confess it — my brother has not yet grasped the nature of the Third Dimension, and frankly avows his disbelief in the existence of a Sphere.Hence I am absolutely destitute of converts, and, for aught that I can see, the millennial Revelation has been made to me for nothing. Prometheus up in Spaceland was bound for bringing down fire for mortals, but I — poor Flatland Prometheus — lie here in prison for bringing down nothing to my countrymen. Yet I exist in the hope that these memoirs, in some manner, I know not how, may find their way to the minds of humanity in Some Dimension, and may stir up a race of rebels who shall refuse to be confined to limited Dimensionality.That is the hope of my brighter moments. Alas, it is not always so. Heavily weighs on me at times the burdensome reflection that I cannot honestly say I am confident as to the exact shape of the once-seen, oft-regretted Cube; and in my nightly visions the mysterious precept, "Upward, not Northward", haunts me like a soul-devouring Sphinx. It is part of the martyrdom which I endure for the cause of the Truth that there are seasons of mental weakness, when Cubes and Spheres flit away into the background of scarce-possible existences; when the Land of Three Dimensions seems almost as visionary as the Land of One or None; nay, when even this hard wall that bars me from my freedom, these very tablets on which I am writing, and all the substantial realities of Flatland itself, appear no better than the offspring of a diseased imagination, or the baseless fabric of a dream. Chapter 22. How I Then Tried to Diffuse the Theory of Three Dimensions by Other Means, and of the Result

„If our highly pointed Triangles of the Soldier class are formidable, it may be readily inferred that far more formidable are our Women.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: If our highly pointed Triangles of the Soldier class are formidable, it may be readily inferred that far more formidable are our Women. For if a Soldier is a wedge, a Woman is a needle; being, so to speak, ALL point, at least at the two extremities. Add to this the power of making herself practically invisible at will, and you will perceive that a Female, in Flatland, is a creature by no means to be trifled with. Chapter 4. Concerning the Women

„To my readers in Spaceland the condition of our Women may seem truly deplorable, and so indeed it is. A Male of the lowest type of the Isosceles may look forward to some improvement of his angle, and to the ultimate elevation of the whole of his degraded caste; but no Woman can entertain such hopes for her sex.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: To my readers in Spaceland the condition of our Women may seem truly deplorable, and so indeed it is. A Male of the lowest type of the Isosceles may look forward to some improvement of his angle, and to the ultimate elevation of the whole of his degraded caste; but no Woman can entertain such hopes for her sex. "Once a Woman, always a Woman" is a Decree of Nature; and the very Laws of Evolution seem suspended in her disfavour. Yet at least we can admire the wise Prearrangement which has ordained that, as they have no hopes, so they shall have no memory to recall, and no forethought to anticipate, the miseries and humiliations which are at once a necessity of their existence and the basis of the constitution of Flatland. Chapter 4. Concerning the Women

„I could hear the mild voice of my Companion pointing the moral of my vision, and stimulating me to aspire, and to teach others to aspire.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: I could hear the mild voice of my Companion pointing the moral of my vision, and stimulating me to aspire, and to teach others to aspire. He had been angered at first — he confessed — by my ambition to soar to Dimensions above the Third; but, since then, he had received fresh insight, and he was not too proud to acknowledge his error to a Pupil. Then he proceeded to initiate me into mysteries yet higher than those I had witnessed, shewing me how to construct Extra-Solids by the motion of Solids, and Double Extra-Solids by the motion of Extra-Solids, and all "strictly according to Analogy", all by methods so simple, so easy, as to be patent even to the Female Sex. Chapter 20. How the Sphere Encouraged Me in a Vision

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„As the number of the sides increases, a Polygon approximates to a Circle; and, when the number is very great indeed, say for example three or four hundred, it is extremely difficult for the most delicate touch to feel any polygonal angles. Let me say rather, it WOULD be difficult: for, as I have shown above, Recognition by Feeling is unknown among the highest society, and to FEEL a Circle would be considered a most audacious insult. This habit of abstention from Feeling in the best society enables a Circle the more easily to sustain the veil of mystery in which, from his earliest years, he is wont to enwrap the exact nature of his Perimeter or Circumference.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: p>With us, our Priests are Administrators of all Business, Art, and Science; Directors of Trade, Commerce, Generalship, Architecture, Engineering, Education, Statesmanship, Legislature, Morality, Theology; doing nothing themselves, they are the Causes of everything worth doing, that is done by others.Although popularly everyone called a Circle is deemed a Circle, yet among the better educated Classes it is known that no Circle is really a Circle, but only a Polygon with a very large number of very small sides. As the number of the sides increases, a Polygon approximates to a Circle; and, when the number is very great indeed, say for example three or four hundred, it is extremely difficult for the most delicate touch to feel any polygonal angles. Let me say rather, it WOULD be difficult: for, as I have shown above, Recognition by Feeling is unknown among the highest society, and to FEEL a Circle would be considered a most audacious insult. This habit of abstention from Feeling in the best society enables a Circle the more easily to sustain the veil of mystery in which, from his earliest years, he is wont to enwrap the exact nature of his Perimeter or Circumference.</p Chapter 11. Concerning our Priests

„Until the moment when I placed my mouth in his World, he had neither seen me, nor heard anything except confused sounds beating against — what I called his side, but what he called his INSIDE or STOMACH; nor had he even now the least conception of the region from which I had come. Outside his World, or Line, all was a blank to him; nay, not even a blank, for a blank implies Space; say, rather, all was non-existent.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: Describing myself as a stranger I besought the King to give me some account of his dominions. But I had the greatest possible difficulty in obtaining any information on points that really interested me; for the Monarch could not refrain from constantly assuming that whatever was familiar to him must also be known to me and that I was simulating ignorance in jest. However, by persevering questions I elicited the following facts:It seemed that this poor ignorant Monarch — as he called himself — was persuaded that the Straight Line which he called his Kingdom, and in which he passed his existence, constituted the whole of the world, and indeed the whole of Space. Not being able either to move or to see, save in his Straight Line, he had no conception of anything out of it. Though he had heard my voice when I first addressed him, the sounds had come to him in a manner so contrary to his experience that he had made no answer, "seeing no man", as he expressed it, "and hearing a voice as it were from my own intestines." Until the moment when I placed my mouth in his World, he had neither seen me, nor heard anything except confused sounds beating against — what I called his side, but what he called his INSIDE or STOMACH; nor had he even now the least conception of the region from which I had come. Outside his World, or Line, all was a blank to him; nay, not even a blank, for a blank implies Space; say, rather, all was non-existent.His subjects — of whom the small Lines were men and the Points Women — were all alike confined in motion and eye-sight to that single Straight Line, which was their World. It need scarcely be added that the whole of their horizon was limited to a Point; nor could any one ever see anything but a Point. Man, woman, child, thing — each was a Point to the eye of a Linelander. Only by the sound of the voice could sex or age be distinguished. Moreover, as each individual occupied the whole of the narrow path, so to speak, which constituted his Universe, and no one could move to the right or left to make way for passers by, it followed that no Linelander could ever pass another. Once neighbours, always neighbours. Neighbourhood with them was like marriage with us. Neighbours remained neighbours till death did them part.Such a life, with all vision limited to a Point, and all motion to a Straight Line, seemed to me inexpressibly dreary; and I was surprised to note the vivacity and cheerfulness of the King. Chapter 13. How I had a Vision of Lineland

„I awoke rejoicing, and began to reflect on the glorious career before me. I would go forth, methought, at once, and evangelize the whole of Flatland. Even to Women and Soldiers should the Gospel of Three Dimensions be proclaimed. I would begin with my Wife.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: I awoke rejoicing, and began to reflect on the glorious career before me. I would go forth, methought, at once, and evangelize the whole of Flatland. Even to Women and Soldiers should the Gospel of Three Dimensions be proclaimed. I would begin with my Wife. Just as I had decided on the plan of my operations, I heard the sound of many voices in the street commanding silence. Then followed a louder voice. It was a herald's proclamation. Listening attentively, I recognized the words of the Resolution of the Council, enjoining the arrest, imprisonment, or execution of any one who should pervert the minds of the people by delusions, and by professing to have received revelations from another World. Chapter 21. How I Tried to Teach the Theory of Three Dimensions to My Grandson, and With What Success

„Hence I am absolutely destitute of converts, and, for aught that I can see, the millennial Revelation has been made to me for nothing. Prometheus up in Spaceland was bound for bringing down fire for mortals, but I — poor Flatland Prometheus — lie here in prison for bringing down nothing to my countrymen. Yet I exist in the hope that these memoirs, in some manner, I know not how, may find their way to the minds of humanity in Some Dimension, and may stir up a race of rebels who shall refuse to be confined to limited Dimensionality.“

— Edwin Abbott Abbott
Context: My brother is one of the best of Squares, just, sensible, cheerful, and not without fraternal affection; yet I confess that my weekly interviews, at least in one respect, cause me the bitterest pain. He was present when the Sphere manifested himself in the Council Chamber; he saw the Sphere's changing sections; he heard the explanation of the phenomena then given to the Circles. Since that time, scarcely a week has passed during seven whole years, without his hearing from me a repetition of the part I played in that manifestation, together with ample descriptions of all the phenomena in Spaceland, and the arguments for the existence of Solid things derivable from Analogy. Yet — I take shame to be forced to confess it — my brother has not yet grasped the nature of the Third Dimension, and frankly avows his disbelief in the existence of a Sphere.Hence I am absolutely destitute of converts, and, for aught that I can see, the millennial Revelation has been made to me for nothing. Prometheus up in Spaceland was bound for bringing down fire for mortals, but I — poor Flatland Prometheus — lie here in prison for bringing down nothing to my countrymen. Yet I exist in the hope that these memoirs, in some manner, I know not how, may find their way to the minds of humanity in Some Dimension, and may stir up a race of rebels who shall refuse to be confined to limited Dimensionality.That is the hope of my brighter moments. Alas, it is not always so. Heavily weighs on me at times the burdensome reflection that I cannot honestly say I am confident as to the exact shape of the once-seen, oft-regretted Cube; and in my nightly visions the mysterious precept, "Upward, not Northward", haunts me like a soul-devouring Sphinx. It is part of the martyrdom which I endure for the cause of the Truth that there are seasons of mental weakness, when Cubes and Spheres flit away into the background of scarce-possible existences; when the Land of Three Dimensions seems almost as visionary as the Land of One or None; nay, when even this hard wall that bars me from my freedom, these very tablets on which I am writing, and all the substantial realities of Flatland itself, appear no better than the offspring of a diseased imagination, or the baseless fabric of a dream. Chapter 22. How I Then Tried to Diffuse the Theory of Three Dimensions by Other Means, and of the Result

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