Voltaire Candide (Modern Library)

ISBN 13: 9780679642589

Candide (Modern Library)

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9780679642589: Candide (Modern Library)
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A flamboyant and controversial personality of enormous wit and intelligence, Voltaire remains one of the most influential figures of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. Candide, his masterpiece, is a brilliant satire of the theory that our world is “the best of all possible worlds.” The book traces the picaresque adventures of the guileless Candide, who is forced into the army, flogged, shipwrecked, betrayed, robbed, separated from his beloved Cunegonde, tortured by the Inquisition, et cetera, all without losing his resilience and will to live and pursue a happy life.
This Modern Library edition, published to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House,
is a facsimile of the first book ever released under the Random House colophon. It includes the timeless illustrations by Rockwell Kent, a twentieth-century artist whose wit and genius serve as a counterpart and compliment to Voltaire’s.

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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

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

9780486266893: Candide (Dover Thrift Editions)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0486266893 ISBN 13:  9780486266893
Publisher: Dover Publications, 1991
Softcover

9780140455106: Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Classics)

Pengui..., 2009
Softcover

9780140440041: Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Classics)

Pengui..., 1950
Softcover

9780143039426: Candide: Or, Optimism (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Pengui..., 2005
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9781640320406: Candide (Chump Change Edition)

Chump ..., 2017
Hardcover

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