Zadig: Or, The Book of Fate.

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The Floating Press, May 1, 2009 - Fiction - 146 pages
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Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire's novel Zadig, or The Book of Fate skillfully weaves the story of its ancient Babylonian philosopher. Not trying for adherence to history, Voltaire's story is full of thinly veiled references to the social and political issues his own time. This appropriately philosophical work holds up human life as being led by destiny beyond our control. The moral transformations that take place within Zadig tell of overturning orthodoxy in religion and in metaphysical beliefs. After Candide, this is said by many to be Voltaire's greatest work.
 

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Contents

Dedication
6
The Approbation
10
Chapter I The Blind Eye
11
Chapter II The Nose
18
Chapter III The Dog and the Horse
22
Chapter IV The Envious Man
29
Chapter V The Force of Generosity
37
Chap VI The Judgments
42
Chapter X The Funeral Pile
69
Chapter XI The Evenings Entertainment
75
Chapter XII The Rendezvous
82
Chapter XIII The FreeBooter
88
Chapter XIV The Fisherman
95
Chapter XV The Basilisk
102
Chapter XVI The Tournaments
117
Chapter XVII The Hermit
127

Chapter VII The Force of Jealousy
48
Chapter VIII The Thrashd Wife
57
Chapter IX The Captive
63
Chapter XVIII The Ænigmas or Riddles
138
Endnotes
146
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

François-Marie Arouet known as Voltaire, was born in Paris in 1694. He was educated by the Jesuits at the Collège Louis-le-Grand (1704-1711), where he learned Latin and Greek; later in life he became fluent in Italian, Spanish, and English. By the time he left school, Voltaire had decided he wanted to be a writer. His father then obtained a job for him as a secretary to the French ambassador in the Netherlands. Most of Voltaire's early life revolved around Paris. From early on, Voltaire had trouble with the authorities for critiques of the government and religious intolerance. These activities were to result in two imprisonments and a temporary exile to England. The name "Voltaire", which the author adopted in 1718, is an anagram of "AROVET LI," the Latinized spelling of his surname, Arouet, and the initial letters of "le jeune" ("the young"). The name also echoes in reverse order the syllables of the name of a family château in the Poitou region: "Airvault". The adoption of the name "Voltaire" following his incarceration at the Bastille is seen by many to mark Voltaire's formal separation from his family and his past. Voltaire continued to write plays, such as Mérope (or La Mérope française) and began his long research into science and history. From 1762, he began to champion unjustly persecuted people, the case of Jean Calas being the most celebrated. This Huguenot merchant had been tortured to death in 1763, supposedly because he had murdered his son for wanting to convert to Catholicism. His possessions were confiscated and his remaining children were taken from his widow and were forced to become members of a monastery. Voltaire, seeing this as a clear case of religious persecution, managed to overturn the conviction in 1765. n February 1778, Voltaire returned for the first time in 20 years to Paris. He soon became ill again and died on 30 May 1778.

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