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Candide: Ou L'optimisme (Larousse Petits…

Candide: Ou L'optimisme (Larousse Petits Classiques) (French Edition) (original 1759; edition 2007)

by Voltaire

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14,010208148 (3.82)443
Title:Candide: Ou L'optimisme (Larousse Petits Classiques) (French Edition)
Info:Educa Books /Larousse (2007), Paperback, 175 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Candide by Voltaire (1759)

  1. 50
    Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (Weasel524)
    Weasel524: What separates the two: Travels is a satirical indictment of the society Swift saw around him, whereas Candide is a satirical indictment of popular philosophical theories of the time. Not a huge difference, but surely large enough for some. Candide also happens to be shorter and funnier, with Travels being more explorative… (more)
  2. 20
    A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy by Laurence Sterne (AaronPt)
  3. 31
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (owen1218)
  4. 20
    Persian Letters by Montesquieu (joririchardson)
  5. 20
    Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago (Mouseear)
  6. 10
    The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (gennyt)
    gennyt: Both books contain extraordinary, unlikely picaresque adventures combined with humorous satire on the politics, wars and religious issues of their time.
  7. 10
    The adventures of Mr. Nicholas Wisdom by Ignacy Krasicki (DieFledermaus)
  8. 10
    Orlando by Virginia Woolf (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: They have the same kind of wide-eyed satirical quality.
  9. 10
    The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia by Samuel Johnson (KayCliff)
  10. 22
    Utopia by Thomas More (kxlly)
  11. 11
    Island by Aldous Huxley (kxlly)

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» See also 443 mentions

English (189)  French (6)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  Tagalog (1)  Italian (1)  Icelandic (1)  Portuguese (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (208)
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
A do-able read.
I am not a huge fan of satire but this book was pretty decent.
I like when I read a book written a long time ago and realize that there was some pretty decent books I was never made to read in school. So with that being said it is not something I would read again and again but the misfortunes of Candide were pretty funny. ( )
  Angel.Carter | Aug 11, 2016 |
3.5 ( )
  cemagoc | Aug 8, 2016 |
While I appreciate a takedown of the truly obnoxious "everything happens for a reason" platitude, this was extremely silly and unsubtle. ( )
  xicohtli | Jul 20, 2016 |
[From Books and You, Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1940, p. 65:]

Now let us speak of another short novel, Voltaire’s Candide, within whose few pages are contained more wit, more mockery, more mischievous invention, more sense and more fun, than ever man compressed in so small a space. It was ostensibly written, as everyone knows, to ridicule the philosophical optimism which was then in fashion, and at a moment when the earthquake in Lisbon, with its widespread destruction and great loss of life, had given a nasty jar to the worthy people who believed that the world we live in is the best of all possible worlds. Never has a man had a more versatile and lively mind than Voltaire, and in this novel he exercised his cynical gaiety at the expense of most subjects which men have agreed to take seriously – religion and government, love, ambition and loyalty – and its moral, such as it is (and not a bad one either) is: Be tolerant and cultivate your garden: that is, do whatever you have to do with diligence and fortitude.

[From The Summing Up, The Literary Guild of America, 1938; lxiii, 241:]

Before I start writing a novel I read Candide over again so that I may have in the back of my mind the touchstone of that lucidity, grace and wit…
1 vote WSMaugham | Jul 18, 2016 |
Candide was an unexpected treat; one of those books that, if I did not know otherwise, I could say was written just for me. It was so deliciously dark and cynical, like if Charles Bukowski and Terry Pratchett had a baby, with Mark Twain as the midwife. But, of course, it pre-dates all of those writers; I found it astonishing just how fresh this 250-year-old topical satire proved to be. It is remarkably modern and, yes, candid in its views: religion, society, philosophy, slavery, hypocrisy, and so on, all get both barrels, with Voltaire always eagerly reloading after doing so. I was also (pleasantly) shocked at just how unreserved and lacking in prudishness Voltaire was when discussing sex – particularly as the book was written in the 18th century – but then, perhaps I shouldn't have been: he was a Frenchman after all.

The most unsolicited of my delights from Candide came from the fact that it was also a good adventure story, taking Candide and his band of misfits on a globe-trotting bildungsroman quest around the world: a romping antecedent to the likes of Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Pratchett's Discworld novels. Candide even stumbles across the mythical city of El Dorado, where gold and precious stones are so plentiful they lie in the streets, and whose inhabitants are bemused by their visitors' lust for their 'pebbles' and 'yellow dust'. That Voltaire managed to provide such diverse and satisfying delights in such a short novel (about 140 pages) is to be marvelled at; Candide is one of those rare 'classics' that defies the aura of stuffiness that the genre often suggests.

Despite being a philosophical satire, I was also pleased at how jargon-free Candide remained. This is a short novel the very epitome of brevity: a thoroughly delightful romp that breezes by in no time. The philosophical angle is easy enough to understand even for a layman and it is never boring, for Voltaire is deftly exposing the weaknesses of philosophical theories by pointing out their absurdities, not by critiquing them. Witness the following, after the character Candide is press-ganged into the army, exposing the limits of 'free will' in a world where cruelty and oppression is ever-present:

The bewildered Candide was still rather in the dark about his heroism. One fine spring morning he took it into his head to decamp and walked straight off, thinking it a privilege common to man and beast to use his legs when he wanted. But he had not gone six miles before he was caught, bound, and thrown into a dungeon by four other six-foot heroes. At the court martial he was graciously permitted to choose between being flogged thirty-six times by the whole regiment or having twelve bullets in his brain. It was useless to declare his belief in Free Will and say he wanted neither; he had to make his choice." (pg. 24).

(As a side note, one could easily replace the name 'Candide' with 'Huck Finn' or 'Rincewind' there.) The main thrust of Voltaire's book is not an advocacy of any certain philosophy; rather, it is to try and stop people becoming complacent. Voltaire is satirising the argument that ours is the best of all possible worlds; the argument which claims that when bad things happen they still contribute to the greater good or to the divine plan. Many will note that this is still a view prevalent amongst some woolly-minded folk nowadays. (Candide delivers a revealing definition of optimism on page 86 – "The passion for maintaining that all is right when all goes wrong with us." – which would be worthy of addition to Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary.) Voltaire correctly recognises that this allows people to become complacent; it allows them not to try and make the world better themselves because what is happening, good or bad, is 'part of the plan'. But, as Candide realises at the end of his adventure, "we must go and work in the garden." It will only grow if we work at it; if we pull out the weeds and cultivate the flowers and crops. That's a message we all need reminding of from time to time, and I guarantee you'll never have as much fun learning it as you will here." ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jun 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
Classique, nous avons tous lu Candide, soit pour le bac soit par curiosité (je l'espere ). Bon personnellement Candide est loin d'etre mon préféré de Voltaire, agassant par sa naiveté etc. J'ai préféré largement l'Ingénu, meme s'il reprend les memes thèmes, je l'ai trouvé mieux écrit avec plus de finesse.
added by Think-green | editBéziers times, Think-Green

» Add other authors (106 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Voltaireprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Quentin BlakeIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Adams, Robert MartinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aldington, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bianconi, PieroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butt, John EverettTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calvino, ItaloIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clavé, AntoniIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellissen, AdolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fultz, W. J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gargantini, StellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gauffin, HansCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hermlin, StephanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Joseph, SydneyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klee, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehmann, IlseÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, GitaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayer, HansAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morand, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morley, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordberg, OlofTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Odle, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pearson, RogerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prechtl, Michael MathiasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Premsela, Martin J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rider, W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sauvage, SylvainIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smollett, TobiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sprengel, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weller, ShaneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Voltaire was the wittiest writeer in an age of great wits, and _Candide_ is his wittiest novel. The subject he chose to exercise his wit upon in this novel is one which conceerns all of us; surprisingly enough, that subject is the problem of suffering. However much we may try to avoid the problem, we are all confronted at some time with this difficulty, that the Creator has made a universe where suffering abounds. If the Creator is good and all-powerful, as we are told he is, could he not have made a better world? If he could, what prevented him? If he could not, can we still believe that he is good and all-powerful? Can we indeed believe in him at all? Or if we do, can we believe that he is at all concerned with men and their sufferings? In times of widespread disasters such questioning becomes more general and more urgent. We are living in such times; and so was Voltaire. [Butt's introduction]
There lived in Westphalia, at the country seat of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh, a young lad blessed by Nature with the most agreeable manners. You could read his character in his face. He combined sound judgment with unaffected simplicity; and that, I suppose, was why he was called Candide. The old family servants suspected that he was the son of the Baron's sisteer by a worthy gentleman of that neighbourhood, whom the young lady would never agree to marry because he could only claim seventy-one quarterings, the rest of his family tree having suffered from the ravages of time. [Butt's translation]
In the castle of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh in Westphalia there lived a youth, endowed by Nature with the most gentle character.
"Fools admire everything in a celebrated author. I only read to please myself, and I only like what suits me."
"'Tis well said," replied Candide, "but we must cultivate our gardens."
“Why should you think it so strange that in some countries there are monkeys which insinuate themselves into the good graces of the ladies; they are a fourth part human, as I am a fourth part Spaniard.”
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Book description
Witty and caustic, Candide has ranked as one of the world's great satires since its first publication in 1759. In the story of the trials and travails of the youthful Candide, his mentor Dr. Pangloss, and a host of other characters, Voltaire mercilessly satirizes and exposes romance, science, philosophy, religion, and government.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486266893, Paperback)

Witty and caustic, Candide has ranked as one of the world's great satires since its first publication in 1759. In the story of the trials and travails of the youthful Candide, his mentor Dr. Pangloss, and a host of other characters, Voltaire mercilessly satirizes and exposes romance, science, philosophy, religion, and government. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:16 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

One of the world's great satires since its first publication in 1759. Witty, caustic skewering of romance, science, philosophy, religion, government - nearly all human ideals and institutions.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 21 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143039423, 0140455108

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2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300106556, 0300119879

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Editions: 1400100445, 1400111080

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