Candide: Or Optimism

Paperback | June 30, 1950

byFrancois VoltaireTranslated byJohn ButtIntroduction byJohn Butt

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"All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds"
 
It was the indifferent shrug and callous inertia that this "optimism" concealed which so angered Voltaire, who found the "all for the best" approach a patently inadequate response to suffering, to natural disasters, not to mention the questions of illness and man-made war. Moreover, as the rebel whose satiric genius had earned him not only international acclaim, but two stays in the Bastille, flogging, and exile, Voltaire knew personally what suffering entailed. In Candide he whisks his young hero and friends through a ludicrous variety of tortures, tragedies, and a reversal of fortune, in the company of Pangloss, a "metaphysico-theologo-comolo-nigologist" of unflinching optimism. The result is one of the glories of eighteenth-century satire.
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From Our Editors

 Few satirists in history can compare with Voltaire, whose acerbic intelligence and keen wits earned him more than one stay in France’s infamous Bastille prison. Candide is his crowning achievement: a ruthless skewering of the empty platitudes preached by the 18th century theologians. As Voltaire’s heroes are subjected to every manner ...

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"All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds" It was the indifferent shrug and callous inertia that this "optimism" concealed which so angered Voltaire, who found the "all for the best" approach a patently inadequate response to suffering, to natural disasters, not to mention the questions of illness and man-made war. Moreov...

François-Marie Arouet, writing under the pseudonym Voltaire, was born in 1694 into a Parisian bourgeois family. Educated by Jesuits, he was an excellent pupil but one quickly enraged by dogma. An early rift with his father—who wished him to study law—led to his choice of letters as a career. Insinuating himself into court circles, he b...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 7.8 × 5.1 × 0.3 inPublished:June 30, 1950Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140440046

ISBN - 13:9780140440041

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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From Our Editors

 Few satirists in history can compare with Voltaire, whose acerbic intelligence and keen wits earned him more than one stay in France’s infamous Bastille prison. Candide is his crowning achievement: a ruthless skewering of the empty platitudes preached by the 18th century theologians. As Voltaire’s heroes are subjected to every manner of disaster and torture, they are consoled by the fatuous optimism of Pangloss, a self-proclaimed “metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigologist” — in a wicked broadside that has delighted readers for more than two centuries.