The Emergence of the Fourth Dimension: Higher Spatial Thinking in the Fin de Siecle

ISBN : 9780198755487

Mark Blacklock
256 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Apr 2018
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A broad-reaching and ambitious cultural and intellectual history, The Emergence of the Fourth Dimension describes the development and proliferation of the idea of higher dimensional space in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries. Featuring figures as diverse as the Cambridge Platonist Henry More, the German psychologist Hermann von Helmholtz, the ever-popular work of H.G. Wells, and a series of spiritualists and occultists, it describes a body of thought that finds in the fourth dimension a Neverland of fantastic imaginative possibility. Describing the contortion of this already giddying notion into yet more peculiar imaginative forms, and the growing sense of excitement that accompanied them, The Emergence of the Fourth Dimension gives a glimpse of what it was like, in the nineteenth century, to think in 4D.


1 Conditions of Emergence: Kant, Helmholtz, and Analogy
2 Knots: Topology, Conjuring and the Spiritualist Fourth Dimension
3 A Square: Flatland, Play, and Tradition
4 Cubes: Hintonian Higher Space and its Thinking Subject
5 Through: The Theosophical Society, Authority, and Mediation
6 Fictions: The Spaces of Literature after n-Dimensions

About the author: 

Mark Blacklock is a cultural historian and novelist. His critically acclaimed first novel I'm Jack was published by Granta in 2015. He lectures on Cultural Studies and English Literature at Birkbeck College and writes for the national press.

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