Graphic Look at Life of Bertrand Russell
The author of a graphic novel on the life of philosopher Bertrand Russell is one of the London Book Fair’s visiting authors this year. Greek novelist Apostolos Doxiadis, the author of Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture, has spent five years on the project, co-created with Christos H. Papadimitriou and artist Alecos Papadatos. Titled Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, it conceives of Russell as a kind of intellectual superhero to rival Superman or Spiderman. Bloomsbury will publish the book in the UK in September.
Doxiadis spoke at a dinner hosted by agent Clare Conville of Conville & Walsh for the international publishers of Logicomix on the eve of London Book Fair on Sunday. He told The Bookseller: “I studied mathematics and was always interested in philosophical questions about it. I wanted to go to that period in mathematics where people were looking for the granite of truth—the whole truth, nothing but the truth. I’d always wanted to tell the story of Bertrand Russell, but I never liked historical novels.”
The solution came in the form of old friend Alecos Papadatos, an animator who was complaining he did not have a good story to work on. “I said, ‘I have a story: the quest for the foundation of mathematics.’ Rationalising it after the fact, I think it is a wonderful form for the story—for me, the comic book language and its way of using images and playing with ideas and storytelling solved my problem with historical novels.”
Logicomix explores Russell’s life from his childhood, brought up as an orphan by his sternly religious grandmother, through his pacifist activism, his troubled marriages, and the writing of his most famous works, such as Principia Mathematica.
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