Apostolos Doxiadis

Logicomix: The Graphic Novel of the Story of Logic

Of late our attention has been focused on something quite different and quite wonderful. It’s a graphic novel of the story of logic called Logicomix (written by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou with artwork by Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna). Like many graphic novels, the book also turns inward and is about the authors and their lives in contemporary Athens. Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, Gottlob Frege, Georg Cantor, and a number of other philosophers and mathematicians play various roles in this epic adventure to understand the foundations of mathematics, leading to the birth of the computer. Russell’s personal life from boyhood to old age is interwoven into the larger story.

When the novel first appeared in Greece in October 2008, it created an instant buzz. A bestseller on logic amost defies logic itself. Translations into English, Turkish, French, and Chinese will soon appear on the market. Dr. Blackwell, a walking encyclopedia on all matters Russellian, has sent out an advanced review copy in English to an historian of logic, who is also an illustrator for magazines and newspapers.

Logicomix is by no means the first comic novel on Russell. The Mexican publisher Organización Editorial Novaro issued a comic book of Russell in its Vidas ilustres series in 1972 with the caption title, Bertrand Russell, el filósifo rebelde. Many caricatures of Russell have also been drawn over the years. Logicomix is scholarly and lots of fun. Goodness, there’s even a bibliography of secondary sources. Take a sneak peek at the home page for Logicomix. You can even look at the inspiration for Logicomix on YouTube. Pretty cool stuff!

Read the article on the Bertrand Russell Archives website here.

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