Candide, Zadig, and selected stories

Front Cover
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 1981 - Fiction - 351 pages
0 Reviews
Voltaire, France's most distinguished man of letters, entertained readers while deriding the bureaucracies of his day with savage contempt, creating exotic panoramas in his satirical stories, sixteen of which are presented in this volume. This indispensable collection features the author's masterpiece, Candide.

Candide parodies the classic, romantic coming-of-age story, with the naive, ever-optimistic title character confronting the evils of the real world. His forbidden love of a baron's daughter causes Candide to be evicted from his home and sheltered life into a desolate sixteenth-century Europe -- where the strong prey on the weak and misery abounds in the heart of humanity. With Candide and the other stories in this collection, the master of social commentary dissects science and spiritual faith, ethics and legal systems, love and human vanity.


-- Zadig -- Micromegas -- The World as It Is -- Memnon -- Bababec and the Fakirs -- History of Scarmentado's Travels -- Plato's Dream -- Account of the Sickness, Confession, Death, and Apparition of the Jesuit Berthier -- Story of a Good Brahman -- Jeannot and Colin -- An Indian Adventure -- Ingenuous -- The One-Eyed Porter -- Memory's Adventure -- Count Chesterfield's Ears and Chaplain Goudman

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Zadig 1747
Micromegas 1752

9 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1981)

A leading freethinker of his time and an opponent of political and religious oppression, Voltaire was instrumental in popularizing serious philosophical, religious, and scientific ideas that were frequently derived from liberal thinkers in England, where he lived for two years after his imprisonment in the Bastille. Voltaire's writings are wide ranging: He wrote plays in the neoclassic style, such as Oedipus (1718), philosophical essays in a popular vein like Letters on England (1734), which has been referred to as the first bomb hurled against the Ancien Regime; and the Philosophical Dictionary (1764), a catalog of polemical ideas on a large variety of subjects, particularly religion and philosophy. Voltaire was one of the most prolific letter writers in the entire history of literature, and his correspondence has been published in a French edition of 107 volumes. For the twentieth-century reader, Voltaire is best known for his philosophical tale Candide (1759), a masterpiece of satire that is both an attack on the philosophy of metaphysical optimism elaborated earlier in the century by the German philosopher Leibniz and a compendium of the abuses of the Ancien Regime as the author ponders the general problem of evil. Voltaire's unflinching belief in human reason and his easy handling of the language of Enlightenment wit and philosophy led the critic Roland Barthes to dub him "the last happy writer.

Bibliographic information