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CANDIDE OR OPTIMISM

VOLTAIRE, By R. M. ADAMS

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ISBN 10: 0393096491 / ISBN 13: 9780393096491
Published by W. W. Norton & Co., 1966
Used Condition: bon Soft cover
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About this Item

RO40159292: 194 pages. Quelques annotations dans l'ouvrage. 'A Norton Critical Edition'. A new translation backgrounds criticism. Trans. and edited by Robert M. Adams. In-8 Broché. Bon état. Couv. partiel. décollorée. Dos satisfaisant. Intérieur frais Classification Dewey : 420-Langue anglaise. Anglo-saxon. Bookseller Inventory # RO40159292

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Bibliographic Details

Title: CANDIDE OR OPTIMISM

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.

Publication Date: 1966

Binding: Couverture souple

Book Condition:bon

About this title

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About Candide

Candide, is a French satire first published 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, Professor 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 rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical 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.

Review:

'Gordon's introduction is well crafted and engaging. He explains very well Voltaire's attitudes and intentions in writing the book and the qualities that make Candide an enduring classic and Voltaire a canonical writer relevant to the present.' - Isser Woloch, Columbia University

'I found this introduction to offer a stellar account of Voltaire as an individual. His ambiguities, his self-presentation, his intellect, his wit all come through. Gordon's comments provoked me to try to read Candide with new eyes.' - Suzanne Desan, University of Wisconsin, Madison

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