Logicomix is an intense comic book about one of the most influential thinkers, mathematicians and philosophers: Bertrand Russell. It is also a highly unique and a visionary kind of book in the sense it brings to life the enigmatic lives of great scientists and philosophers. The art work is brilliant, and the pictures capture the essence of personal struggles, and the European and Victorian era of 1900's.
The story begins with a significant event in Bertrand's childhood: when he moves in with his grandparents into their mysterious and spooky Victorian mansion. His precocious curiosity, and all-consuming quest for logic and truth begins in his boyhood as a coping mechanism to deal with the strange disappearance of his parents, the ensuing loneliness, and a religious and strict grandmother who overtly and dogmatically preached god instead of telling Bertrand the truth about his family.
As Bertrand grows up, he finds out from the forbidden library that his mother and sister died of diptheria and his father died of heartache. He also uncovers that the haunting cry that spooked him on many nights emanated from an insane uncle who was locked up as a taboo in their mansion. As a kid, he is introduced to Euclid by his tutor and that changes the course of his life: mathematics becomes his way of life.
It is frightening and exhilarating to see the intensity with which Bertrand pursues logic. He studies mathematics, turns mad and poignant deciphering philosophy, and feels a gaping hollowness in his core while confronting the lack of a coherent philosophy or a core principle for all of logic and truth. So, he takes upon himself the arduous task of finding the most absolute and foundational truth and spends a decade building the foundation of mathematics, and despairing about the futility of the endeavor. This pursuit of rationality just about drives him insane.
The book explores an intriguing topic: the connection between madness and genius, insanity and eccentric. Insanity was a thing that Bertrand experienced rather closely: he and his wife had family members suffering from madness, his granddaughter commits suicide, his son ends up being schizophrenic and some of the greatest scientists of the time had gone insane including Kurt Godel, Georg Cantor and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The book concludes that insanity is a consequence of a flawed model of reality.
All in all, its a book that must be read for its a story that must be read.
The love for books & a hunger for stories was programmed into my DNA. And, sooner than later, life experiences sealed the deal. Books have saved me, transformed my life, enlightened me and have shown me the path I must walk. In a way, far too many books have played the role of kindred spirits and guides, leading the seeker in me to answers and paving a way for a new way of life. Books have helped me keep my wits, my sense of wonder, my sense of mystery and curiosity & my sanity in a life that has been anything but predictable and normal.