# Thoughts on “A Wrinkle in Time”

Re-posted from my Facebook page:

I went to see the movie yesterday, knowing a film version could never encompass all the novel has meant to me. The movie is well-done and captures much of the spirit of the novel, given its limitation to a 2-hr format. You should see it. The director had to make some hard choices about what to include and how to translate the material into a modern setting, and I mostly approve of her choices. (Although personally, I wish Calvin had remained a gawky 14-year-old outgrowing his clothes and wearing shabby shoes.)

But I was sorry the movie did not include what was to me, at age 12 when I read it the first time, the mind-blowing concept of a tesseract as mathematician Madeleine L’Engle explained it using a line, a square, and a cube. A line is one dimensional. The square of a line is a square (2 dimensions). The square of a square is a cube (3 dimension). The square of a cube is a tesseract. Holy moley. I was no star at math, but that idea just grabbed me. You can’t depict the square of a cube, you can only imagine it–but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

There are other things absent from the movie, and like the tesseract, they may be impossible to depict in three dimensions because they exist mostly in the reader’s mind. Much of what you take from the novel depends on what you bring to it. Which in the end is the difference between the book and the movie: The novel is a tesseract. The movie is just 3D.