Alasse's Reviews > Logicomix: una búsqueda épica de la verdad

Logicomix by Apostolos Doxiadis
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Dec 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: comic-books, metafiction
Read from December 24 to 26, 2011

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 I know full well that arguing this point isn't exactly easy. It doesn't matter how reasonable and conciliatory it sounds in your head - people will accuse you of moral relativism, even cowardice. Well, apparently there was someone who made this point long before I did - Bertrand Russell, a philosopher and public figure known for his high moral integrity. Oh, and also, a logician. Take that, stupid teenage classmates!

Interestingly enough, his story is told in a very metafictional way. I've always felt attracted to metafiction exactly because of this reason. By metafiction I mean experiments like Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile, in which the author subverts an original storyline and saves only the most essential plot points in order to play with parallelism. I get a kick out of it every single time, because it reminds me of how very little of what we take for granted is in fact essential - to a story, to a person, or to a way of life. There's something morally very powerful about that.

Then there's the other sort of metafiction, in which the author breaks the fourth wall and draws attention to the fact that the book is, precisely, a book. I'm a big fan of that too, but in this case it definitely doesn't work. To begin with, there's too much of it - the authors keep interrupting the plot to explain what just happened and where they plan on going next. This doesn't enhance, subvert or question anything - it's just sloppy. It reads like they got overexcited and wanted to include much more than they thought the storyline could contain. "See what we did there? We're drawing a parallel between The Oresteia and Russell's foundational quest! Get it?". I understand that this is related to the self-referential theme, but it still feels like cheating. You don't use metafiction for cheating!

Anyway, Russell's life story was fascinating, and it's made me want to read both Russell and The Oresteia, so I'm very happy I read it.
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12/24/2011 page 1
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Jayme Yes! Super nerdy fun! Is this on your new, sparkly, unicorn-covered ipad?

Alasse UNICORNS! No, this one I have on paper. I kinda want to get it out of the way now :o) it is super nerdy but it's not on my iPad! And also, I'm finding the narrative super annoying.

Jayme Great review, Alasse. And even though I gave it five stars, I totally agree with you. They use breaking the fourth wall as a way to insert tons of exposition, which I always disapprove. I've given tons of books crap for that...not sure why I was so lenient with this one. I think it was just soooo nerdy and super interesting that I had to give it to them for doing something cool and outside the box.

Alasse Thanks! Yeah, that's why I gave it 3 stars - I think I'm trying to punish it or something. But it's probably a 4-star book, all in all. I might upgrade it when I've cooled off a little bit :D

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