Candide and Other Stories (Collector's Library)

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9781904919940: Candide and Other Stories (Collector's Library)

 

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 distinguished 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.

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Review:

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 Back Cover:

The spirit of satire flourished during the Enlightenment as in no other period, and the crowning achievement of that caustic, brilliantly learned age was Voltaire's Candide, published in 1759, at the height of its author's enormous European fame. Following the worldwide encounters - with shipwrecks, earthquakes, pestilence, and human insanity - of its hero and his incomparably absurd tutor, Dr. Pangloss, Candide is the most entertaining of all philosophical novels and the most philosophical of entertainments.

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