Bloggers Fair: Mark Blacklock’s ‘The Fairyland of Geometry’

All-too-infrequently updated, The Fairyland of Geometry is a blog on which I post material surrounding my PhD research into the late-nineteenth-century engagement with the idea of higher-dimensioned space. The thesis aims to understand and describe how this engagement altered the spatial imaginary of the period by examining the passage of the idea across disparate cultural terrains, departing from August Mobius’s 1827 paper on barycentric calculus, in which he tentatively speculated a fourth dimension of space as a useful idea in geometry, to the uncanny fictions and scientific romances of the early twentieth century in which the fourth dimension became a vessel for ideas as varied as evolutionary degeneration and astral voyaging, a site of threat or of utopian promise, depending on perspective. I’ve become quite focused on the objects used to make concrete this resolutely abstract idea, so there will hopefully be increasingly frequent postings about cubes and knots. It has occasionally served as a home for rough workings of sections that will go into my thesis or the text of conference papers, but is more often a place to which I post off-cuts or links to material related to the subject.

Mark Blacklock: I’m a part-time post-graduate student in the English Department at Birkbeck College, London, and member of a fiction publishing collective. I’ve worked on various TV, internet and publishing projects and have written freelance for a number of magazines – including Bizarre, Loaded, The Fortean Times – and some newspapers – mainly The Telegraph – The Guardian once published something I wrote but they misprinted my byline. I was once fired from a cannon and have a degraded lumbar disc L3-L4 to prove it. I have ridden bulls and wrestled alligators. I lived in Tokyo for a year. I really like electronic music. I am married with three daughters.

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