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Candide (Illustrated) [Kindle Edition]

Voltaire , ICU Publishing , Adrien Moreau
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Candide, ou l'Optimisme is a French satire written 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 outright rejecting optimism, advocating an enigmatic 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".

Candide is characterised by its sarcastic tone, as well as by its erratic, fantastical and fast-moving plot. A picaresque novel with a story similar to that of a more serious bildungsroman, it parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on historical happenings, such as the Seven Years' War and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. As philosophers of Voltaire's day contended with the problem of evil, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory; most conspicuously, he assaults Leibniz and his optimism.

As expected by Voltaire, Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. Immediately after its secretive publication, the book was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition and intellectual hostility hidden under a thin veil of naïveté. However, with its sharp wit and insightful portrayal of the human condition, the novel has since inspired many later authors and artists to mimic and adapt it; most notably, Leonard Bernstein composed the music for the 1956 comic operetta adapted from the novel. The original 1956 libretto of Candide, written by Lillian Hellman, was an intensely bitter and somewhat loose adaptation of Voltaire, but Hugh Wheeler's new libretto, first produced in 1974, was a far more faithful adaptation of the novella, and the one which is still in use today. Today, Candide is recognised as Voltaire's magnum opus and is often listed as part of the Western canon; it is likely taught more than any other work of French literature.

The book includes original illustrations, active table of contents and a Free audiobook link for download (which can be downloaded using a PC/Mac) at the end of the book.


Product Description

Review

* The brilliant unabridged narration brings out all the ironies, tragedy and exuberant comedy of this 18th-century classic. The Observer * A classic audio in every sense. The Guardian

About the Author

Voltaire (1694-1778) was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and free trade. Voltaire was a prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form including plays, poetry, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken supporter of social reform, despite strict censorship laws and harsh penalties for those who broke them. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma and the French institutions of his day. Voltaire was one of several Enlightenment figures (along with Montesquieu, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Emilie du Chatelet) whose works and ideas influenced important thinkers of both the American and French Revolutions.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1494 KB
  • Print Length: 98 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: ICU Publishing (3 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005H2GS1G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #284,881 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious Irony Amidst Swift-Like Satire 14 Sept. 2007
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Ever since philosophers began thinking about the meaning of life, a favorite question has been "Why do bad things happen to good people?". In Voltaire's day, this issue was primarily pursued either from the perspective of faith (everything that happens is God's will and must be for Divine purpose) or of reason (What do these events mean to you, as you interpret them subjectively?). Infuriated by the reaction by some members of the church to a horrible loss of life from an earthquake in Lisbon, Voltaire wrote this hard-biting satire of the human condition to explore these questions.

Before reading further, let me share a word of caution. This book is filled with human atrocities of the most gruesome sort. Anything that you can imagine could occur in war, an Inquisition, or during piracy happens in this book. If you find such matters distressing (as many will, and more should), this book will be unpleasant reading. You should find another book to read.

The book begins as Candide is raised in the household of a minor noble family in Westphalia, where he is educated by Dr. Pangloss, a student of metaphysical questions. Pangloss believes that this is the best of all possible worlds and deeply ingrains that view into his pupil. Candide is buoyed by that thought as he encounters many setbacks in the course of the book as he travels through many parts of Europe, Turkey, and South America.

All is well for Candide until he falls in love with the Baron's daughter and is caught kissing her hand by the Baron. The Baron immediately kicks Candide out of the castle (literally on the backside), and Candide's wanderings begin. Think of this as being like expulsion from the Garden of Eden for Adam.
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By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
François-Marie Arouet (1694-1788) better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment historian, philosopher and writer, famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and free trade. Voltaire was a prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form including plays, poetry, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. As a satirical polemicist, Voltaire frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma and the French institutions of his day. It seems likely that Voltaire was inspired to write' Candide' as a consequence of several deadly historical events (the Seven Years War and the consequences of 1755 Lisbon earthquake). The earthquake in particular had a large effect on the contemporary doctrine of optimism - based on the theodicy of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz - that says that all is for the best because God is a benevolent deity.

`Candide' was first published in 1759, and was almost immediately banned. The story follows the adventures of Candide, a young man raised in the household of Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh, a member of the minor nobility in Westphalia. Candide is educated by Pangloss:

`Pangloss was professor of metaphysico-theologico-cosmolonigology. He proved admirably that there is no effect without a cause, and that, in this the best of all possible worlds, the Baron's castle was the most magnificent of castles, and his lady the best of all possible Baronesses.'

Alas, Candide falls in love with Cunégonde, the Baron's daughter, and the Baron catches him kissing her hand. As a consequence, Candide is evicted from the castle, and his adventures commence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious Irony Amidst Swift-Like Satire 1 Sept. 2004
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Ever since philosophers began thinking about the meaning of life, a favorite question has been "Why do bad things happen to good people?". In Voltaire's day, this issue was primarily pursued either from the perspective of faith (everything that happens is God's will and must be for Divine purpose) or of reason (What do these events mean to you, as you interpret them subjectively?). Infuriated by the reaction by some members of the church to a horrible loss of life from an earthquake in Lisbon, Voltaire wrote this hard-biting satire of the human condition to explore these questions.
Before reading further, let me share a word of caution. This book is filled with human atrocities of the most gruesome sort. Anything that you can imagine could occur in war, an Inquisition, or during piracy happens in this book. If you find such matters distressing (as many will, and more should), this book will be unpleasant reading. You should find another book to read.
The book begins as Candide is raised in the household of a minor noble family in Westphalia, where he is educated by Dr. Pangloss, a student of metaphysical questions. Pangloss believes that this is the best of all possible worlds and deeply ingrains that view into his pupil. Candide is buoyed by that thought as he encounters many setbacks in the course of the book as he travels through many parts of Europe, Turkey, and South America.
All is well for Candide until he falls in love with the Baron's daughter and is caught kissing her hand by the Baron. The Baron immediately kicks Candide out of the castle (literally on the backside), and Candide's wanderings begin. Think of this as being like expulsion from the Garden of Eden for Adam.
Read more ›
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