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“… what she had thought was freedom and joy was nothing but anarchy and sloth.”

October 12, 2008, 8:30 pm

Norton Juster’s The Dot and the Line is an undersung masterpiece. From its dedication—“For Euclid, no matter what they say”—to its moral—“To the vector belong the spoils”—it is a delight from end to end.

If you are so fortunate to have the experience of reading this little book still ahead of you, you should know that it is a romance of at-first unrequited love between a line and a dot. She, alas, loves a squiggle, and regards the line as a bit straight. But creativity begot of discipline prevails in the end. Along the way, the language does every bit as much work as the math (which is what you’d expect from the author of The Phantom Tollbooth).

His worried friends noticed how terribly thin and drawn he had become and did their best to cheer him up.
“She’s not good enough for you.”
“She lacks depth.”
“They all look alike anyway….”

I suppose I can’t tell you that you should love that, but I think it’s hilarious.

And the book’s concluding line makes a sublime statement about a certain kind of love.

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