Candide

Candide

Description

Candide is a French satire first published in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. The novella has been widely translated, with English versions titled Candide: or, All for the Best (1759); Candide: or, The Optimist (1762); and Candide: or, Optimism (1947). It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply "optimism") by his mentor, Professor Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical precept, "we must cultivate our garden", in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, "all is for the best" in the "best of all possible worlds".Candide is characterised by its sarcastic tone as well as by its erratic, fantastical and fast-moving plot. A picaresque novel with a story similar to that of a more serious bildungsroman, it parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on historical happenings, such as the Seven Years' War and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. As philosophers of Voltaire's day contended with the problem of evil, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory; most conspicuously, he assaults Leibniz and his optimism.As expected by Voltaire, Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. Immediately after its secretive publication, the book was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition and intellectual hostility hidden under a thin veil of naïveté. However, with its sharp wit and insightful portrayal of the human condition, the novel has since inspired many later authors and artists to mimic and adapt it. Today, Candide is recognized as Voltaire's magnum opus and is often listed as part of the Western canon; it is arguably taught more than any other work of French literature. Martin Seymour-Smith has listed Candide as one of The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 0679720200
ISBN 13: 9780679720201

09 Aug 2016
Albert Camus

ISBN 10: 1250012570
ISBN 13: 9781250012579

26 Feb 2013
Rainbow Rowell

ISBN 10: 0385474547
ISBN 13: 9780385474542

12 Jun 2008
Chinua Achebe

ISBN 10: 1982147172
ISBN 13: 9781982147174

02 Jun 2020
Pearl S Buck

ISBN 10: 0486270653
ISBN 13: 9780486270654

02 Jan 2000
Moliere

ISBN 10: 0679762655
ISBN 13: 9780679762652

01 Dec 1996
Yasunari Kawabata

ISBN 10: 1409157253
ISBN 13: 9781409157250

07 Jul 2014
Rainbow Rowell

ISBN 10: 0076774287
ISBN 13: 9780076774289

06 Jun 2016
McGraw Hill

ISBN 10: 019953621X
ISBN 13: 9780199536214

15 Jul 2008
J. W. von Goethe

ISBN 10: 055321280X
ISBN 13: 9780553212808

01 Jun 1994
Henrik Ibsen

ISBN 10: 0486266893
ISBN 13: 9780486266893

01 May 1991
Voltaire

ISBN 10: 1984854127
ISBN 13: 9781984854124

14 Sep 2021
Vergil