Logicomix: Eine epische Suche nach Wahrheit
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Logicomix: Eine epische Suche nach Wahrheit

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  6,900 ratings  ·  790 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published 2011 by Atrium (first published 2008)
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Riku Sayuj

This wildly ambitious graphic novel is a fictional (auto?)biography of Bertrand Russell and traces his journey from doubt to certainty and back again.

It is littered with the lofty ideas of the many giants of mathematics and philosophy throughout, but is never daunting in its subject matter or too overreaching in its objectives. A list of the co-stars might be enough to induce you to stop reading this review, so I restrain myself from indulging.

The self-referential presentation, which shows the...more
Buck
It’s marvellous that something like Logicomix exists: a graphic novel that seeks to put the Vienna Circle on the pop-culture map deserves a special Pulitzer for chutzpah (read those last three words aloud and you’d swear you were speaking Hochdeutsch). But I sensed an uncomfortable tension here between the genuine profundity of the ideas being explored and the inescapably hammy conventions of comic-book narrative. No doubt there’s a special, tiny place in my heart for hamminess, just as there’s...more
Keith
Okay, I'm all for the widening modern-day definition of the graphic novel, but in the event that you find yourself writing a 352 page comic, there's one thing you should definitely ask yourself early on, and that is, 'Did I remember the ninjas?'

And if you didn't remember the ninjas, then there should be an excellent reason for it, i.e. dinosaurs, robots, or boobs. And while there are many more things other than dinosaurs, robots or boobs you can replace ninjas with in a 352 page graphic novel,...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
THIS IS NOT MY PERSONAL OPINION

IT IS THAT OF MY CLOSE FRIEND JOE

I suspect someone more familiar with the players and their theories would get even more out of this, but I definitely feel more kindly and receptive toward these eggheads, having seen through this their human sides and their passionate struggles to reach truth. Their integrity requires ruefully accepting it time and again when the newest genius tears down the fortress of truth each thought he had built. The constant questioning of p...more
Chris
I have a question for you. It's a simple-sounding question, but hard to answer, so I really want you to put a good amount of thought into it before you do. Okay? Yes, I'm still in Teacher-mode, but that's not important right now. My question is this:

What is truth?

It's one of those unanswerable questions that has bugged us ever since we started being able to ask unanswerable questions. Along with "Why is there evil in the world?" and "Do we have free will or are our lives pre-determined from the...more
Jon Stout
Logicomix An Epic Search for Truth, came as a complete surprise to me. Given to me by a good friend for Christmas, this graphic novel first struck me as a psychodrama about an obsessive-compulsive personality, not at all resembling myself. But when I started to read it I realized that it was a history of early 20th century philosophy and foundations of mathematics, featuring cartoon characterizations of people I have studied at some length, such as Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gottlob...more
Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog)
Logicomix is an impressive (graphic) novel, as much in scope as visually and structurally, and as a reader with some background in mathematics and philosophy, I'm very glad that at least this kind of fiction is written. After some contemplation, I also came to agree that its subtitle, 'An Epic Search Truth', wasn't disappointed either. I fluctuated between the present one star short rating and the full during the course of my read, mulling over this point a fair bit and this is what I hope to re...more
David
In a world where no other books competed for your valuable reading time (a finite resource), I'd have no hesitation in giving this book five stars. It's fun to read, executed with charm and flair (some might say chutzpah, and one has to admire the authors' sheer nerve in dreaming it up. Hell, you'll even learn a thing or two. A selective biography of Russell (with a few minor alterations), with cameo appearances by the various mathematical and philosophical luminaries who worked on the logical f...more
Dimitris Hall
Jan 14, 2011 Dimitris Hall rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy comics and complex subjects turned into engaging narratives
Shelves: lent
Logicomix was good. But it wasn't exceptional.

The drama of logic and mathematics, in my opinion, is portrayed much better in Doxiadis's other novel, Uncle Petros. I liked how the decision to make it a graphic novel worked for this story, but to be honest I got lost on my way, trying to understand Bertrand's thoughts and his interaction with other mathematicians and/or logicians of variable mental soundness, including himself. By the end, it all seemed so trivial, as if no real answer could come...more
Alasse
I've always believed that looking for expecting a perfect solution inevitably leads to extremism - for me, integrists are simply people who have become too lost in theory. They're not monsters - they're just people with strongly held beliefs who have forgotten that, more often than not, one has to tolerate a certain degree of uncertainty, even compromise, in order to reach a valid conclusion. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing touch with reality.

I went to a Catholic school until I was 18, so...more
jeremy
while a mostly interesting (if, at times, historically lax) account of bertrand russell's life and the hunt for the foundation of mathematics, logicomix strives for, perhaps, too lofty a goal - however admirable its attempt. employing the format of a graphic novel for so complex a subject is certainly a bold choice, but doxiadis and company seem to unnecessarily weigh their plot down by delving into russell's romantic life, his fear of madness, etc., instead of offering a deeper critique or exam...more
Hadrian
A self-referential biographical history of mathematics and logic in the later 19th and early 20th century, with narrative interludes on ancient Greek tragedy. Framed around the life of Bertrand Russell, several contemporary thinkers (Frege, Wittgenstein, Gödel, Schlink, Wallace, von Neumann). Manages to describe incredibly complex concepts in understandable language, and only a few relatively minor errors.

I'd like to see more, if that was possible. One for each of the other thinkers, especially...more
Stokespower
kind of disappointing; don't think it set out to do what it aims to do (and what it aims to do is frequently stated) in bringing the story of the search for rigourous logic to life thorugh the lives of the main protagnist(s). essentially its a potted biography of bertrand russell, but so shortened as to be fairly meaningless. it's covering and explanation of logical theories is equally skimpy and vague.
there's some neat comic tricks (asides to the reader, references to 'filming live'), a framing...more
Johnny
Although I rarely cover graphic novels, this one is quite unique. Written and drawn by Greek artists and philosophers, Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, is essentially a summary of the influences upon and experiences of Bertrand Russell. Russell, of course, was an anti-church logician (and the comic illustrates some of the early influences upon him that may have given rise to some of that hostility) and an advocate of open marriage (in spite of his unsuccessful attempts at the seduction of hi...more
Amy Laurens
Yep, this is enjoyable. Specifically, I found this enjoyable and not just "good" because most "good" books on logic and mathematics would nevertheless have me so mentally strained I'd be thrashing about like a seal in a bath (I may have stolen this phrase from Caitlin Moran). I barely even noticed I was learning! Maybe I'll even read one of the seminary books cited in this. I'll leave it to you to decide on the likeliness of this happening given that I've just started watching Orange is the New...more
Christoph
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marcus
This book is extremely well done. Everything from the art to the binding to the glossary really gives the feeling that it's a labor of love, nothing is rushed, every detail is considered. The subject is Bertrand Russell and his idealistic (quixotic?) quest to find a way to use logic to irrefutably prove the foundations of mathematics, and by extension, all of reality. The book does a great job of linking him to his influencers, contemporaries and those who took and built on his work while keepin...more
R.
Dans cette BD, nous suivons en parallèle une histoire centrée sur le personnage de Bertrand Russell — un mathématicien — et celle de la création et de la conception de la BD par les auteurs. C'est une technique qui est parfois utilisée et qui permet habilement aux auteurs de justifier leurs choix et de faire part aux lecteurs de leurs interrogations ou de leur commentaires — c'est une technique semblable qui est utilisée dans HHhH. Dans cette partie du récit, les auteurs parlent entre eux mais s...more
Seth Hahne
When age-spanning epics are called for, there are few so often drawn from the Great Well of Story Archetypes as the battle between order and chaos. In the realms of the human and the personal, some variation of Boy Meets Girl is undoubtedly the go-to narrative frame. But when a teller really wants to up the stakes and sell his audience either a cosmology or an apocalypse, only gods and monsters will do. And such a pairing (almost until the postmoderns) demands Order in one corner, girded and rea...more
Todd Nemet
This is a graphic novel about Bertrand Russell -- noted mathematician, logician, pacifist, and horndog -- and his search for a solid foundation of logic, only to be met with frustration and paradox. The interesting part, as the different layers of this self-referential comic go to great pains to show, Russell is driven in his quest for absolute certainty by passion and a fear of insanity. And it doesn't hurt that the early twentieth century ladies go for logicians.

The structure is a little contr...more
Carmen
Mar 27, 2014 Carmen rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Logicians; Philosophers
People who study philosophy often go insane/are insane. Why? Are insane people more likely to pursue logic theory and philosophy? Or do these studies drive people mad?
Josh
Alright. Okay. Let me know if this sounds like a good read: a graphic novel about logician Bertrand Russel’s quest for the foundation on mathematics, as told by him at a symposium wherein he is supposed to comment on America’s possible involvement in World War II, as told by the people who created this book, who are actually characters in the book and discussing the creation of the book. Sounds like a dud right? Wrong. The only dud this book is capable of being is ‘Dud’ley Do-Right.

While the fra...more
R. C.
I am afraid that you will not read it if I tell you that it was about Bertrand Russell and the Victorian intellectual quest of mathematicians, philosophers and logicians. It was about that but so much more. Authorship. Insanity. Religion. War. The meaning of life. Greek literature... well, in a Jungian kind of way. Such intertexuality tends to choke me up. The ending to this one made me well up with the hope that there is an overarching sense about homo sapiens sapiens.

Sometimes when I finish a...more
Alan Marchant
Logicomix is very unique - a graphic nonfiction novel about the philosophy of mathematics. The book is structured around an autobiographical lecture by Bertrand Russell, with cameos by the great mathematicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who participated in the "Foundational Quest," an effort to establish a consistent logical foundation for mathematics. The quest came to an intellectually tragic end when Godel's "incompleteness theorem" proved that not everything in mathematics can...more
Sam Quixote
The book is a modern telling of two stories: the life story of Bertrand Russell and the development of Logic. The story within the story is of an old Bertrand Russell going to give a lecture just days after Germany invaded Poland and the protestors surrounding the lecture hall demand he support the call for pacifism, to keep Britain out of the war. Russell invites them in and begins the lecture - of his life, of Logic, and his answer to their calls.

It helps to have the two narrating voices - Ru...more
Forrest
When I started this Cannonball, I unofficially put a moratorium on comics and graphic novels. It is so easy to argue that graphic novels are the equal of traditional literature, but I still wanted to establish a sort of baseline for the books I would be reading, and I couldn’t find a good way to fit, for example, twelve volumes of Fables comics in my definition of a ‘book.’ No less than a week out, I stumbled across Logicomix lurking in a corner of the house I’m staying in here. Like Persepolis,...more
Sophie
Gosh, a graphic novel (a *graphic novel*!!!) about math and logic. Who would have thought that such a thing would ever exist?! Certainly not the creators, it seems.

Sorry. This was actually rather good - following the life of philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell, we're introduced to the basic problems of logic, math and human nature. It's well done - sometimes, it feels like there's a little too much going on (the introduction of the "Orestie" was a bit too much for my taste), but overa...more
Jennifer
Quite simply, one of the most amazing and unique books I have ever read. In graphic novel form, it recounts the early life of the philosopher Bertrand Russell and his attempt to establish the logical foundation of all mathematics and the rational truth of all that exists. At the same time, it tells the tale of the group of graphic artists who are writing Logicomix, and their insights and frustrations mirror the ones that Russell and his colleagues experience. Additionally, (as if that weren't en...more
Yanzhang
One of the most personally devastating yet inspiring lessons learning mathematics was that mathematics would be insufficient to supply all truths sufficient for my own development as a human being. It was devastating since it killed my arrogant wish that I was part of a priesthood in which the hope of all mankind rested. It was inspiring because this could only mean that I've undervalued the other fields of human enterprise and that between all them they have been doing the right thing.

One focu...more
Jim Coughenour
Logicomix is a graphic meta-narrative based on Bertrand Russell's failed quest for mathematical certainty. It's hard to think of a subject intrinsically less interesting, but in the hands of these talented artists (Doxiadis, plus Christos Papadimitriou, Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna) it's high entertainment, not least because they weave their own uncertainties and confusions into the mix. The theorizing is intense but unpretentious and the comics are rich in color and detail. And the story...more
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ACM Books: Logicomix Cycle 2 14 Apr 13, 2013 07:22PM  
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Apostolos Doxiadis (Greek: Απόστολος Δοξιάδης) was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1953, and grew up in Greece.
Although interested in fiction and the arts from his youngest years, a sudden and totally unexpected love affair with mathematics led him to New York's Columbia University at the age of fifteen. He did graduate work in Applied Mathematics at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, w...more
More about Apostolos Doxiadis...
Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession Από την παράνοια στους αλγόριθμους: Η δέκατη έβδομη νύχτα και άλλες διαδρομές Τα τρία ανθρωπάκια Βίος παράλληλος Circles Disturbed: The Interplay of Mathematics and Narrative

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“It's been said before: 'The sleep of reason produces monsters.” 9 likes
“Put a man on the brink of the abyss and - in the unlikely event that she doesn't fall into it - he will become a mystic or a madman... Which is probably the same thing!” 9 likes
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