HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Candide: Ou L'optimisme (Larousse Petits…
Loading...

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

by Voltaire

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
13,913205150 (3.83)440
Member:ebrison
Title:Candide: Ou L'optimisme (Larousse Petits Classiques) (French Edition)
Authors:Voltaire
Info:Educa Books /Larousse (2007), Paperback, 175 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

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)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 440 mentions

English (185)  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 (204)
Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
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 |
Book Description
Caustic and hilarious, Candide has ranked as one of the world's great satires since its first publication in 1759. It concerns the adventures of the youthful Candide, disciple of Dr. Pangloss, who was himself a disciple of Leibniz. In the course of his travels and adventures in Europe and South America, Candide saw and suffered such misfortune that it was difficult for him to believe this was "the best of all possible worlds" as Dr. Pangloss had assured him. Indeed, it seemed to be quite the opposite. In brilliantly skewering such naïveté, Voltaire mercilessly exposes and satirizes romance, science, philosophy, religion, and government — the ideas and forces that permeate and control the lives of men.
After many trials and travails, Candide is reunited with Cunegonde, his sweetheart. He then buys a little farm in Turkey where he and Cunegonde, Dr. Pangloss and others all retire. In the end, Candide decides that the best thing in the world is to cultivate one's own garden. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

My Review
This is a witty, satirical tale about the philosophical optimism that proclaims that all disaster and human suffering is part of a benevolent cosmic plan. Candide travels around the world to discover that contrary to the teachings of Dr. Pangloss, all is not always the best. I enjoyed it very much and found Voltaire's wit to be funny and intellectually enlightening. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 3, 2016 |
Absolutely everyone should read this book. It was recommended to me in high school by one of my favourite teachers but somehow took me until now to read, probably because such "classics" seem inaccessible ... Quite the contrary, "Candide" is short, can be picked up and put down at leisure, is amusing at every turn, and offers great commentary on society without being too obscure. ( )
  Kristin_Curdie_Cook | Apr 29, 2016 |
So witty. Still makes sense. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
I didn't think I'd like it as much as I did. It was funny and inspirational even. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 185 (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 (109 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
Mayer, HansAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morand, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordberg, OlofTranslatorsecondary 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

Is contained in

Has the adaptation

Is parodied in

Is a reply to

Inspired

Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
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.
Quotations
"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.”
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Hungarian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
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.
Haiku summary

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

Legacy Library: Voltaire

Voltaire has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Voltaire's legacy profile.

See Voltaire's author page.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.83)
0.5 2
1 46
1.5 14
2 187
2.5 33
3 677
3.5 195
4 1053
4.5 123
5 779

Audible.com

12 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143039423, 0140455108

Yale University Press

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

Editions: 0300106556, 0300119879

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100445, 1400111080

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 106,753,613 books! | Top bar: Always visible