Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos H Papadimitriou

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

This illustrated tale of reason, insanity, love and truth recounts the story of Bertrand Russell's life. Raised by his paternal grandparents, young Russell was never told the whereabouts of his parents. Driven by a desire for knowledge of his own history, he attempted to force the world to yield to his yearnings: for truth, clarity and resolve. As he grew older, and increasingly sophisticated as a philosopher and mathematician, Russell strove to create an objective language with which to describe the world - one free of the biases and slippages of the written word. At the same time, he began courting his first wife, teasing her with riddles and leaning on her during the darker days, when his quest was bogged down by paradoxes, frustrations and the ghosts of his family's secrets. Ultimately, he found considerable success - but his career was stalled when he was outmatched by an intellectual rival: his young, strident, brilliantly original student, Ludwig Wittgenstein. 4.2 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Comics & Graphic Novels
Format Paperback
Pages 352
RRP £16.99
Date of Publication September 2009
ISBN 978-0747597209
Publisher Bloomsbury
 

This illustrated tale of reason, insanity, love and truth recounts the story of Bertrand Russell's life. Raised by his paternal grandparents, young Russell was never told the whereabouts of his parents. Driven by a desire for knowledge of his own history, he attempted to force the world to yield to his yearnings: for truth, clarity and resolve. As he grew older, and increasingly sophisticated as a philosopher and mathematician, Russell strove to create an objective language with which to describe the world - one free of the biases and slippages of the written word. At the same time, he began courting his first wife, teasing her with riddles and leaning on her during the darker days, when his quest was bogged down by paradoxes, frustrations and the ghosts of his family's secrets. Ultimately, he found considerable success - but his career was stalled when he was outmatched by an intellectual rival: his young, strident, brilliantly original student, Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Neville Hawcock

This sounds as if it could be terribly dry – the quest for mathematical foundations is an abstruse one, far removed from mankind’s more pressing concerns. But an intellectual passion is still a passion, and writers Doxiadis and Papadimitriou succeed in bringing out the humanity in their story... The book is a visual treat as well, thanks to Alecos Papadatos and Annie di Donna’s crisp, richly coloured drawings.

05/09/2009

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The Guardian

Alex Bellos

The lesson of Russell's paradox is that logicians need to be careful to avoid self-reference, which is a rule that doesn't apply, for example, to the authors of graphic novels. Logicomix embraces self-reference. Both Doxiadis and Papadimitriou appear in the book as themselves... The device could be confusing, or irritating, but it actually helps the flow by giving three levels of narrative to let the philosophy sink in. The colour illustrations are also beautifully done... Uncle Petros was a bestseller and the much more ambitious Logicomix deserves to be one too.

03/10/2009

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The New York Times

Jim Holt

All of this is presented with real graphic verve. (Even though I’m a text guy, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the witty drawings.) ... And for the most part the ideas are conveyed accurately, and with delightful simplicity... There is one serious misstep, though. It has to do with the notorious paradox that Russell discovered in the spring of 1901: the paradox of the set of all sets that don’t contain themselves as members... The authors have fun unpacking Russell’s paradox, but they exaggerate its fallout.

25/09/2009

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The Spectator

Ray Monk

The authors are a little too interested in their own disagreement on the question of whether the story they are telling is a happy one or not, and, at key points — including, most strikingly, the finale to the book — they insert themselves and their debate into the narrative... Before we get to this disappointing conclusion, however, a surprising amount about Russell, logic, mathematics and philosophy has been conveyed in the most accessible and entertaining way possible.

30/09/2009

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