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Synopsis: Candide By Voltaire Candide, ou l'Optimisme is a French satire first published in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. The novella has been widely translated, with English versions titled Candide: or, All for the Best (1759); Candide: or, The Optimist (1762); and Candide: or, Optimism (1947). It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply Optimism) by his mentor, Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical precept, "we must cultivate our garden", in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds".
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 Condition: New
Book Description Barnes & Noble, Incorporated. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Dust Cover Missing. Book has a small amount of wear visible on the binding, cover, pages. Seller Inventory # G156619704XI3N01
Book Description Barnes & Noble. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ€™ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2825898333
Book Description Barnes & Noble. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ€™ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2841939043
Book Description Barnes & Noble, Incorporated. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Book shows a small amount of wear to cover and binding. Some pages show signs of use. Seller Inventory # G156619704XI3N00
Book Description Barnes & Noble, Incorporated. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Book has appearance of only minimal use. All pages are undamaged with no significant creases or tears. Seller Inventory # G156619704XI4N00
Book Description Barnes & Noble, 1995. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 156619704X-2-4
Book Description Barnes & Noble, 1995. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Access codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Seller Inventory # S_197322347
Book Description Barnes & Noble, 1995. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG156619704X
Book Description Barnes & Noble, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1995. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good+. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good+. First Barnes & Noble Edition. A Nice Reading Copy - First Barnes & Nobles Edition, First Printing. Book Is In Very Good + Condition. Boards Are Clean, Not Bumped. Fore Edges Have A Small Amount Of Wear. Interior Is Clean And Legible. Not Remaindered. Dust Jacket Is In Very Good + Condition. Tiny Bit Of Shelf Wear/Rub. Tiniest Bit Of Wear Along The Edges. Not Price Clipped. Dust Jacket Is Covered By Mylar Wrapper. Thanks And Enjoy. Book. Seller Inventory # 013983
Book Description Barnes & Noble, 1995. Unknown Binding. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX156619704X