Today, we’ve got an interesting study in form and content in the form of two editions of the same book.

On the one hand, we have a modern artist’s edition of Flatland, published by Arion Press in 1980.  On the other, we’ve got the very first edition, published in 1884.  It’s the same text, printed nearly a century apart, and in very different formats.  

The artist’s book is interesting; it’s an accordion book, and so could be laid completely flat and read end to end as a single, flat sheet. Its construction also means that it can stand freely (with a little support, just to be safe!) and act almost as a sculpture.

The first edition, meanwhile, is, well, your traditional book-shaped book.  Easier to hold and read, to be sure, but it’s difficult to deny that it lacks something of the dramatic impact of Flatland as a flat book.