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Candide: With Related Documents (Bedford Cultural Editions)

by Voltaire, Daniel Gordon

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Product Description

Putting Voltaire's portrayal of eighteenth-century European society into proper historical context, Candide, with Related Documents demonstrates how the complexities of his life relates to the events, philosophy, and characters of the novel.

Amazon.com 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

Product Description

Putting Voltaire's portrayal of eighteenth-century European society into proper historical context, Candide, with Related Documents demonstrates how the complexities of his life relates to the events, philosophy, and characters of the novel.

ASIN B07WHJP9YQ
Amazon Sales Rank 598,799
Released 08/05/2019
Main Category Kindle Edition
Group eBooks
Publisher Bedford/St. Martin's
Studio Bedford/St. Martin's
Manufacturer Bedford/St. Martin's
Language(s) English (Published)
Adult Product? No

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