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Candide (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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9781593080280: Candide (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
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&&LDIV&&R&&LDIV&&R&&LI&&RCandide&&L/I&&R, by &&LB&&RVoltaire&&L/B&&R, is part of the &&LI&&RBarnes & Noble Classics&&L/I&&R&&LI&&R &&L/I&&Rseries, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of &&LI&&RBarnes & Noble Classics&&L/I&&R: &&LDIV&&R

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
&&LP style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"&&RAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. &&LI&&RBarnes & Noble Classics &&L/I&&Rpulls together a constellation of influences―biographical, historical, and literary―to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.&&L/P&&R&&L/DIV&&R&&L/DIV&&R&&LP&&ROne of the finest satires ever written, &&LB&&RVoltaire&&L/B&&R’s &&LI&&RCandide&&L/I&&R savagely skewers this very “optimistic” approach to life as a shamefully inadequate response to human suffering. The swift and lively tale follows the absurdly melodramatic adventures of the youthful Candide, who is forced into the army, flogged, shipwrecked, betrayed, robbed, separated from his beloved Cunégonde, and tortured by the Inquisition. As Candide experiences and witnesses calamity upon calamity, he begins to discover that―contrary to the teachings of his tutor, Dr. Pangloss―all is perhaps not always for the best. After many trials, travails, and incredible reversals of fortune, Candide and his friends finally retire together to a small farm, where they discover that the secret of happiness is simply “to cultivate one's garden,” a philosophy that rejects excessive optimism and metaphysical speculation in favor of the most basic pragmatism. &&L/P&&R&&LP&&RFilled with wit, intelligence, and an abundance of dark humor, &&LI&&RCandide&&L/I&&R is relentless and unsparing in its attacks upon corruption and hypocrisy―in religion, government, philosophy, science, and even romance. Ultimately, this celebrated work says that it is possible to challenge blind optimism without losing the will to live and pursue a happy life. &&L/P&&R&&LP&&R&&LB&&RGita May&&L/B&&R is Professor of French at Columbia University. She has published extensively on the French Enlightenment, eighteenth-century aesthetics, the novel and autobiography, and women in literature, history, and the arts. &&L/P&&R&&L/DIV&&R

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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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