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9780140440041

Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Classics)

Voltaire Author

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9780140440041: Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Classics)

"All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds"
 
It was the indifferent shrug and callous inertia that this "optimism" concealed which so angered Voltaire, who found the "all for the best" approach a patently inadequate response to suffering, to natural disasters, not to mention the questions of illness and man-made war. Moreover, as the rebel whose satiric genius had earned him not only international acclaim, but two stays in the Bastille, flogging, and exile, Voltaire knew personally what suffering entailed. In Candide he whisks his young hero and friends through a ludicrous variety of tortures, tragedies, and a reversal of fortune, in the company of Pangloss, a "metaphysico-theologo-comolo-nigologist" of unflinching optimism. The result is one of the glories of eighteenth-century satire.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Product Description:

 

With its vibrant new translation, perceptive introduction, and witty packaging, this new edition of Voltaire’s masterpiece belongs in the hands of every reader pondering our assumptions about human behavior and our place in the world. Candide tells of the hilarious adventures of the naïve Candide, who doggedly believes that “all is for the best” even when faced with injustice, suffering, and despair. Controversial and entertaining, Candide is a book that is vitally relevant today in our world pervaded by—as Candide would say—“the mania for insisting that all is well when all is by no means well.”

  • A Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition with French flaps and rough front
  • Completely new translation and introduction
  • Amazing cover art from one of the most beloved modern comic artists


 

Review:

Political satire doesn't age well, but occasionally a diatribe contains enough art and universal mirth to survive long after its timeliness has passed. Candide is such a book. Penned by that Renaissance man of the Enlightenment, Voltaire, Candide is steeped in the political and philosophical controversies of the 1750s. But for the general reader, the novel's driving principle is clear enough: the idea (endemic in Voltaire's day) that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and apparent folly, misery and strife are actually harbingers of a greater good we cannot perceive, is hogwash.

Telling the tale of the good-natured but star-crossed Candide (think Mr. Magoo armed with deadly force), as he travels the world struggling to be reunited with his love, Lady Cunegonde, the novel smashes such ill-conceived optimism to splinters. Candide's tutor, Dr. Pangloss, is steadfast in his philosophical good cheer, in the face of more and more fantastic misfortune; Candide's other companions always supply good sense in the nick of time. Still, as he demolishes optimism, Voltaire pays tribute to human resilience, and in doing so gives the book a pleasant indomitability common to farce. Says one character, a princess turned one-buttocked hag by unkind Fate: "I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our most melancholy propensities; for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one's very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?"--Michael Gerber

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Book Description Pearson Education (US), United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st New impression. 190 x 127 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140440041

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Book Description Pearson Education (US), United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st New impression. 190 x 127 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140440041

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Book Description Penguin Classics, 1947. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. 5x7.75. The hero and his friends are whisked through a ludicrous variety of tortures, tragedies and reversals of fortune, in the company of Pangloss, a 'metaphysico-theologo-cosmologo-nigologist' of unflinching optimism. A great satire of the eighteenth century. 144 pages, introduction. First published in French in 1759. Translated by John Butt in 1947. This is a recent printing. Text in English. First published in French In Print @ $11.00. Bookseller Inventory # 11712

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