Monday, May 16, 2016

On the Coffee Table: Logicomix

Title: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth
Writers: Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou
Artists: Alecos Papadatos and Anne di Donna
via Wikipedia
Logicomix is a graphic novel biography of philosopher/mathematician Bertrand Russell.  It's an ambitious work, weaving in and out of various spots in the timeline: Russell's early professional life, a lecture years later as Britain was debating whether or not to enter World War II and the 21st century Athens of the book's creators.  The artwork is excellent, including some interesting temporal play within panels.

I have to admit that most of the philosophical and mathematical discussion was over my head.  My wife is a big fan of symbolic logic so I think she enjoyed it more.  Russell himself, however, is a compelling figure.  His encounters with mental illness in both his family and his profession shape much of his personal story.  His intellectual brilliance did not extend to his personal life, in which he was quite a disastrous husband and father.  The story's ultimate philosophical conclusion is a satisfying one.

12 comments:

  1. Okay, I'm curious, but...
    Well, you know, big stack and all that.

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  2. A graphic novel biography of Bertrand Russell? I've not gotten into the graphic novel trend, but this one sounds interesting.

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    1. I have loads more to recommend if you enjoy it.

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  3. It's not surprising that he would have a tough home life. No one likes living next to someone who has you pegged.

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    1. I wouldn't say he had anyone pegged - more like he was wrapped up in his own little world.

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  4. Does any brilliant and gifted man or woman have a normal life?

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    1. Does any of us, really? It's always good to be reminded that we're all flawed.

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  5. Sounds quite intriguing- a biographical graphic novel.

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    1. I've seen several attempts over the past few years. This one's not bad.

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  6. Sounds quite intriguing- a biographical graphic novel.

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