An Epic Search for Truth
Publication Date: September 29, 2009
An innovative, dramatic graphic novel about the treacherous pursuit of the foundations of mathematics.This exceptional graphic novel recounts the spiritual odyssey of philosopher Bertrand Russell. In his agonized search for absolute truth, Russell crosses paths with legendary thinkers like Gottlob Frege, David Hilbert, and Kurt Gödel, and finds a passionate student in the great Ludwig Wittgenstein. But his most ambitious goal—to establish unshakable logical foundations of mathematics—continues to loom before him. Through love and hate, peace and war, Russell persists in the dogged mission that threatens to claim both his career and his personal happiness, finally driving him to the brink of insanity. This story is at the same time a historical novel and an accessible explication of some of the biggest ideas of mathematics and modern philosophy. With rich characterizations and expressive, atmospheric artwork, the book spins the pursuit of these ideas into a highly satisfying tale. Probing and ingeniously layered, the book throws light on Russell’s inner struggles while setting them in the context of the timeless questions he spent his life trying to answer. At its heart, Logicomix is a story about the conflict between an ideal rationality and the unchanging, flawed fabric of reality.
Admitted to Columbia University at age fifteen, novelist Apostolos Doxiadis studied mathematics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. His international bestseller Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture spearheaded the impressive entrance of mathematics into the world of storytelling. Apart from his work in fiction, Apostolos has also worked in film and theater and is an internationally recognized expert on the relationship of mathematics to narrative. His Web site is www.apostolosdoxiadis.com Christos H. Papadimitriou is C . Lester Hogan professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. He was won numerous international awards for his pioneering work in computational complexity and algorithmic game theory. He has written the novel Turing: A Novel about Computation. Alecos Papadatos has drawn and directed animated commercials, TV cartoon series and animated films. In 1997, he became a cartoonist for the major Athens daily “To Vima” and created commercial comic strips and comics. He lives in Athens with his wife, Annie Di Donna, and their two children. Annie Di Donna studied graphic arts at the École Superieure des Arts Decoratifs, Grenoble, and painting at the École des Beaux Arts, Annecy. She has worked as animator in many productions of France Animation and Canal Plus, among them Babar and Tintin. Since 1991, she has been running an animation studio with her husband, Alecos Papadatos.
Correspondent Susan Stamberg gathers recommendations for the season's best books from booksellers Rona Brinlee, Daniel Goldin and Lucia Silva. Their selections include comics about philosophy, novels about building families, and a box set that dives into the process of writing. More at NPR.org
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“This is an extraordinary graphic novel, wildly ambitious in daring to put into words and drawings the life and thought of one of the great philosophers of the last century, Bertrand Russell…A rare intellectual and artistic achievement, which will, I am sure, lead its readers to explore realms of knowledge they thought were forbidden to them.”—Howard Zinn“This magnificent book is about ideas, passions, madness, and the fierce struggle between well-defined principle and the larger good.”—Barry Mazur, Gerhard Gade University Professor at Harvard University, and author of Imagining Numbers (Particularly the Square Root of Minus Fifteen) “Logicomix is witty, engaging, stylish, visually stunning, and full of surprising sound effects, a masterpiece in a genre for which there is as yet no name.”—Michael Harris, professor of mathematics at Université Paris 7 and member of the Institut Universitaire de France
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