Candide (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

by Henry Voltaire
Introduction by Gita May, Gita May

Barnes & Noble Books | January 6, 2005 | Hardcover |

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Candide, by Voltaire, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics  series, 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 Barnes & Noble Classics:
  • 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
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences-biographical, historical, and literary-to enrich each reader''s understanding of these enduring works.

 

One of the finest satires ever written, Voltaire's Candide 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 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.

Filled with wit, intelligence, and an abundance of dark humor, Candide is relentless and unsparing in its attacks upon corruption and hypocrisy-in religion, government, philosophy, science, and even romance. Ultimately, this celebrated work teaches us that it is possible to challenge blind optimism without losing the will to live and pursue a happy life.

Gita May 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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 176 Pages, 5.51 × 8.27 × 0.39 in

Published: January 6, 2005

Publisher: Barnes & Noble Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1593081782

ISBN - 13: 9781593081782

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Candide (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Candide (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

by Henry Voltaire
Introduction by Gita May, Gita May

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 176 Pages, 5.51 × 8.27 × 0.39 in

Published: January 6, 2005

Publisher: Barnes & Noble Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1593081782

ISBN - 13: 9781593081782

Read from the Book

From Gita May''s Introduction to Candide During his stay in England and at Cirey Voltaire''s outlook on life was essentially optimistic. In the twenty-fifth and last of his Lettres philosophiques he sternly took Pascal to task for his pessimistic depiction of the human condition, describing him as a "sublime misanthrope"; and in his poem Le Mondain (The Worldly One), published in 1736, he sharply ridiculed the myth of primitive happiness and innocence during the co-called Golden Age, as embodied in the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Conversely, he extolled the Epicurean delights of comfort and luxury brought about by modern civilization. In spite of his controversial reputation, he garnered such high official honors as being elected to the French Academy in 1746. He was still convinced that, on the whole, Newton''s eminently rational laws permitted human beings to accommodate themselves and seek their happiness within this orderly universe, set in motion by a supremely powerful but also benevolent being. And as a deist, he generally also subscribed to Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz''s theory that God would not create a universe other than the best of all possible universes, as expounded in his Theodicy (1710). Voltaire''s stay at the court of Frederick II, from 1750 until 1753, turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. Frederick was basically an autocrat, in spite of his much-publicized image as an enlightened "philosopher king." Voltaire''s irrepressible wit and bold irreverence
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From the Publisher

Candide, by Voltaire, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics  series, 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 Barnes & Noble Classics:
  • 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
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences-biographical, historical, and literary-to enrich each reader''s understanding of these enduring works.

 

One of the finest satires ever written, Voltaire's Candide 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 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.

Filled with wit, intelligence, and an abundance of dark humor, Candide is relentless and unsparing in its attacks upon corruption and hypocrisy-in religion, government, philosophy, science, and even romance. Ultimately, this celebrated work teaches us that it is possible to challenge blind optimism without losing the will to live and pursue a happy life.

Gita May 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.

About the Author

Gita May 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.

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