Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Classics)

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9780140455106: Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Classics)
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Theo Cuffe's marvelous translation of Voltaire's satirical masterpiece
With its vibrant new translation and perceptive introduction 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.”

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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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

Book Description:

In this new translation of Voltaire’s best-known work, distinguished translator Burton Raffel captures the irreverent spirit of Candide and renders the novel in clear, vivacious English. Stylistically superior to all predecessors, Raffel’s version now stands as the translation of choice for twenty-first-century readers.

 

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Voltaire s brilliant satirical assault on what he saw as the naively optimistic philosophy of the Enlightenment, Candide, or Optimism is a dazzling picaresque novel, translated and edited by Theo Cuffe with an introduction by Michael Wood in Penguin Classics.Brought up in the household of a German Baron, Candide is an open-minded young man whose tutor, Pangloss, has instilled in him the belief, inspired by Leibniz, that all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds . But when his love for the Baron s rosy-cheeked daughter is discovered, Candide is cast out to make his own fortune. As he and his various companions roam over the world, an outrageous series of disasters befall them - earthquakes, syphilis, a brush with the Inquisition, murder - sorely testing the young hero s optimism. In Candide, Voltaire threw down an audacious challenge to the philosophical views of his time, to create one of the most glorious satires of the eighteenth century.Theo Cuffe s translation brilliantly conveys Voltaire s acerbic humour. In his introduction, Michael Wood discusses Voltaire s satirical attack on contemporary philosophy. This edition also contains a map, extensive notes, table of dates, further reading and appendices including extracts from Voltaire s Philosophical Dictionary. Francois-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), better known by his pseudonym Voltaire, was a French writer and satirist, the embodiment of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. Among his best-known works is the satirical novel Candide (1759).If you enjoyed Candide, you might like Laurence Sterne s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, also available in Penguin Classics. The prince of philosophical novels John Updike, author of Rabbit, Run [An] excellent new translation Robert McCrum, Observer. Seller Inventory # APG9780140455106

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Voltaire s brilliant satirical assault on what he saw as the naively optimistic philosophy of the Enlightenment, Candide, or Optimism is a dazzling picaresque novel, translated and edited by Theo Cuffe with an introduction by Michael Wood in Penguin Classics.Brought up in the household of a German Baron, Candide is an open-minded young man whose tutor, Pangloss, has instilled in him the belief, inspired by Leibniz, that all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds . But when his love for the Baron s rosy-cheeked daughter is discovered, Candide is cast out to make his own fortune. As he and his various companions roam over the world, an outrageous series of disasters befall them - earthquakes, syphilis, a brush with the Inquisition, murder - sorely testing the young hero s optimism. In Candide, Voltaire threw down an audacious challenge to the philosophical views of his time, to create one of the most glorious satires of the eighteenth century.Theo Cuffe s translation brilliantly conveys Voltaire s acerbic humour. In his introduction, Michael Wood discusses Voltaire s satirical attack on contemporary philosophy. This edition also contains a map, extensive notes, table of dates, further reading and appendices including extracts from Voltaire s Philosophical Dictionary. Francois-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), better known by his pseudonym Voltaire, was a French writer and satirist, the embodiment of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. Among his best-known works is the satirical novel Candide (1759).If you enjoyed Candide, you might like Laurence Sterne s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, also available in Penguin Classics. The prince of philosophical novels John Updike, author of Rabbit, Run [An] excellent new translation Robert McCrum, Observer. Seller Inventory # APG9780140455106

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