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Candide (original 1759; edition 1759)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:19 -0400)
It was the indifferent shrug and callous inertia that this 'optimism' concealed which so angered Voltaire, who found the 'all for the best' approach a patently inadequate response to suffering, to natural disasters - such as the recent earthquakes in Lima and Lisbon - not to mention the questions of illness and man-made war. Moreover, as the rebel whose satiric genius had earned him not only international acclaim, but two stays in the Bastille, flogging and exile, Voltaire knew personally what suffering involved. In Candide he whisks his young hero and friends through a ludicrous variety of tortures, tragedies and reversals of fortune, in the company of Pangloss, a 'metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigologist' of unflinching optimism. The result is one of the glories of eighteenth-century satire.
(summary from another edition)