Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Drop Caps)

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9780143125853: Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Drop Caps)

From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers—featuring cover art by Jessica Hische

It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. In a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features unique cover art by Hische, a superstar in the world of type design and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany & Co. to Wes Anderson's recent film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. With exclusive designs that have never before appeared on Hische's hugely popular Daily Drop Cap blog, the Penguin Drop Caps series launches with six perennial favorites to give as elegant gifts, or to showcase on your own shelves.

V is for Voltaire.  Voltaire’s masterpiece belongs in the hands of every reader pondering our assumptions about human behavior and our place in the world. Voltaire tells of the ludicrous adventures and reversals of fortune of the naïve Candide, who doggedly believes that “all is for the best” even when faced with injustice, suffering, and despair. A satirical challenge to the empty optimism prevalent in Voltaire’s eighteenth-century society is both controversial and entertaining, but also vitally relevant today in our world pervaded by—as Candide would say—“the mania for insisting that all is well when all is by no means well.”

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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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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Jessica Hische (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book. From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers featuring cover art by Jessica Hische It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. In a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features unique cover art by Hische, a superstar in the world of type design and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany Co. to Wes Anderson s recent film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin s own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. With exclusive designs that have never before appeared on Hische s hugely popular Daily Drop Cap blog, the Penguin Drop Caps series launches with six perennial favorites to give as elegant gifts, or to showcase on your own shelves.V is for Voltaire. Voltaire s masterpiece belongs in the hands of every reader pondering our assumptions about human behavior and our place in the world. Voltaire tells of the ludicrous adventures and reversals of fortune of the naive Candide, who doggedly believes that all is for the best even when faced with injustice, suffering, and despair. A satirical challenge to the empty optimism prevalent in Voltaire s eighteenth-century society is both controversial and entertaining, but also vitally relevant today in our world pervaded by as Candide would say the mania for insisting that all is well when all is by no means well. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780143125853

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