Candide: Or, Optimism

Front Cover
Penguin, 1947 - Fiction - 144 pages
31 Reviews
"Candide" is the story of a gentle man who, though pummeled and slapped in every direction by fate, clings desperately to the belief that he lives in "the best of all possible worlds." On the surface a witty, bantering tale, this eighteenth-century classic is actually a savage, satiric thrust at the philosophical optimism that proclaims that all disaster and human suffering is part of a benevolent cosmic plan. Fast, funny, often outrageous, the French philosopher's immortal narrative takes Candide around the world to discover that -- contrary to the teachings of his distringuished tutor Dr. Pangloss -- all is not always for the best. Alive with wit, brilliance, and graceful storytelling, "Candide" has become Voltaire's most celebrated work.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
10
4 stars
17
3 stars
3
2 stars
0
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mawls - LibraryThing

i think i would have to read this one about five times to fully understand what's going on. Yet, i did really enjoy the sentiment of the ending. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - horomnizon - LibraryThing

I'm guessing most people read this because of some kind of educational purpose. I read this because of Kristin Chenoweth. She starred as Cunegonde in Bernstein's Candide operetta for PBS and is one of ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
7
How Candide was brought up in a beautiful
19
in How Candide escaped from the Bulgars and what
25
Describing tempest shipwreck and earthquake
32
dide the Grand Inquisitor and the Jew
44
How Candide killed the brother of his beloved
65
What Candide and Martin discussed as they
94
Candides journey to Constantinople
128
woman once more
137
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1947)

Franšois-Marie Arouet, writing under the pseudonym Voltaire, was born in 1694 into a Parisian bourgeois family. Educated by Jesuits, he was an excellent pupil but one quickly enraged by dogma. An early rift with his father—who wished him to study law—led to his choice of letters as a career. Insinuating himself into court circles, he became notorious for lampoons on leading notables and was twice imprisoned in the Bastille.

By his mid-thirties his literary activities precipitated a four-year exile in England where he won the praise of Swift and Pope for his political tracts. His publication, three years later in France, of Lettres philosophiques sur les Anglais (1733)—an attack on French Church and State—forced him to flee again. For twenty years Voltaire lived chiefly away from Paris. In this, his most prolific period, he wrote such satirical tales as “Zadig” (1747) and “Candide” (1759). His old age at Ferney, outside Geneva, was made bright by his adopted daughter, “Belle et Bonne,” and marked by his intercessions in behalf of victims of political injustice. Sharp-witted and lean in his white wig, impatient with all appropriate rituals, he died in Paris in 1778—the foremost French author of his day.

Bibliographic information