Candide and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics)

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9780192807267: Candide and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics)
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Candide is the most famous of Voltaire's "philosophical tales," in which he combined witty improbabilities with the sanest of good sense. First published in 1759, it was an instant bestseller and has come to be regarded as one of the key texts of the Enlightenment. What Candide does for chivalric romance, the other tales in this selection--Micromegas, Zadig, The Ingenu, and The White Bull--do for science fiction, the Oriental tale, the sentimental novel, and the Old Testament.
The most extensive one-volume selection currently available, this new edition includes a new verse translation of the story Voltaire based on Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale: What Pleases the Ladies. Opening with a revised introduction that reflects recent critical debates and including a new section on Voltaire's verse, this edition also features updated translations, revised notes, and an updated bibliography.

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Candide, the wittiest and best-loved book of a genius who is still unequaled in his ability to spin art out of philosophy, became a huge bestseller in Europe after it was published in 1759. Voltaire, skeptical of the systems of philosophy that were floated about to explain the workings of the world, used this satirical story about the optimist Candide and his friend Dr. Pangloss to interrogate and discredit the philosophies and approach more closely the truth about human life, suffering, and happiness in the real world. Now, the short novel Candide is considered one of the most important texts of the enlightenment.

From the Inside Flap:

"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.

"From the Paperback edition.

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