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Candide (1759)

by Voltaire

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
20,752313216 (3.8)1 / 572
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Every lover of classic literature should read Candide, the satirical masterpiece that shocked Paris upon its publication in 1759. The novel challenges many of the core assertions of Enlightenment philosophy and calls into question vast swaths of Christian dogma. Though widely banned after its publication, it propelled Voltaire to literary stardom and remains one of the most popular French novels ever written.

.… (more)
  1. 61
    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. 30
    Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: They have the same kind of wide-eyed satirical quality.
  3. 20
    Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago (Mouseear)
  4. 31
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (owen1218)
  5. 20
    Persian Letters by Charles Louis de Secondat Montesquieu (jordantaylor)
  6. 20
    A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy by Laurence Sterne (AaronPt)
  7. 20
    The Satyricon by Petronius Arbiter (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Hapless protagonists tossed by fate from one misadventure to another
  8. 10
    The Adventures of Mr. Nicholas Wisdom by Ignacy Krasicki (DieFledermaus)
  9. 10
    Rasselas by Samuel Johnson (KayCliff)
  10. 10
    Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice by James Branch Cabell (Crypto-Willobie)
  11. 33
    Utopia by Thomas More (kxlly)
  12. 11
    Island by Aldous Huxley (kxlly)
  13. 00
    The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out 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.
  14. 01
    The Memoirs of Maria Brown by John Cleland (Anonymous user)
  15. 05
    The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (aprille)
Europe (28)
AP Lit (56)
1750s (1)
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» See also 572 mentions

English (279)  French (7)  Italian (5)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (3)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Arabic (1)  Portuguese (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Icelandic (1)  Hebrew (1)  Tagalog (1)  All languages (311)
Showing 1-5 of 279 (next | show all)
Philosophers = bs ; doesn’t matter who. They all just talk in circles.
Foolish optimism is harmful
The rich tear themselves apart for a few moments of power (monarchy) and the poor pay for it.
People that just mind their own business tend to be happier.
Don’t fall in love with an idea or memory of someone. You will always be disappointed by what you find.

Lastly, Voltaire was one sassy lad. His writings are still very prevalent today. You have to look some things up while reading to get the joke, but it is rather humorous once you understand. ( )
  BeckiT | Jul 6, 2024 |
Oh boy there's a LOT to unpack in this text. If you read it for the literal words, it's an adventure with a frustratingly naive sailor who seems to endlessly purse the love of his life. Digging deeper it's an intense commentary on society, religion, philosophy and education. ( )
  illarai | Jun 26, 2024 |
I found this book very humorous; albeit, very strange. It's so hyperbolic that at times it's hard to believe that someone actually constructed such a tale; nevertheless, the happenings of the story can be traced back to true occurrences and injustices.

All-in-all, it was an entertaining, quick read. ( )
  AngelReadsThings | May 29, 2024 |
A masterpiece. The low rating is because most people are idiots. ( )
  antoni4040 | May 14, 2024 |
Juvenal once said, "It is difficult not to write satire", meaning that even if he put ink to paper with different intentions, his worldview would press him on in one direction. He and Voltaire would have got along famously, I suspect. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 279 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (115 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Voltaireprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adams, Robert MartinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aldington, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Angioletti, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Archer, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Armiño, MauroTraductorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Azcoaga, María IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Azcona, AmparoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bacchelli, RiccardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berthelius, MarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bianconi, PieroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blaine, MahlonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blair, LowellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Block, Haskell M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butt, John EverettTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calvino, ItaloIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cameron, NormanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clavé, AntoniIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Constantine, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cuffe, TheoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deloffre, FrédéricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellissen, AdolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fattorini, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fultz, W. J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gargantini, StellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gauffin, HansCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gay, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gomes, RobertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gordon, DanielEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gyergyai, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Havens, George R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hermlin, StephanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ζαρούκας, ΚώσταςTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jerrold, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Joseph, SydneyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kent, RockwellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klee, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krátký, RadovanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehmann, IlseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Llovet, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mangosio, FrancaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, GitaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayer, HansAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meler, FerranTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morand, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morley, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Navarro, AntonioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordberg, OlofTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordin, SvanteAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Odle, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oliveira, Regina Célia deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pearson, RogerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prechtl, Michael MathiasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Premsela, Martin J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rabenius, OlofTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
René, PomeauEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rider, W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sauvage, SylvainIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smollett, TobiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Soldevila, CarlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sprengel, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tavares, RuiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torrey, Norman L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tschöke, WolfgangÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Pinxteren, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vaz, FernandoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vermeer-Pardoen, HannieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ware, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weller, ShaneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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.
[Bair translation]
In the castle of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh in Wesphalia, there once lived a youth endowed by nature with the gentlest of characters.
"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.”
His choice fell, in the end, on a poor scholar who'd spent ten years working in the bookshops of Amsterdam. It was Candide's opinion that there was no more disgusting trade in the world, so this man had to be the most discontented of all.
Regarding the writings of Cicero:
I'd have been more comfortable with his philosophical writing, but I realized he doubted everything and I decided I knew just as much as he did, and in order to be ignorant I didn't need an body's help.
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Disambiguation notice
Please don't combine editions which are just Candide eg Penguin Classics with editions which contain Candide with other works by Voltaire, eg Oxford World Classics Candide and other stories.
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Every lover of classic literature should read Candide, the satirical masterpiece that shocked Paris upon its publication in 1759. The novel challenges many of the core assertions of Enlightenment philosophy and calls into question vast swaths of Christian dogma. Though widely banned after its publication, it propelled Voltaire to literary stardom and remains one of the most popular French novels ever written.


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Book description
Attraverso la parabola del povero Candido, un inguaribile ottimista, il narratore continua a "portare uno sguardo rapido su tutti i secoli, tutti i paesi, e di conseguenza, su tutte le sciocchezze di questo piccolo globo". Pubblicato a Ginevra nel 1759, e immediatamente ristampato a Parigi, Londra, Amsterdam e altre città d'Europa, Candido consente a Voltaire di perfezionare il nuovo genere letterario da lui creato, il conte philosophique. Le convulse e mirabolanti disavventure del protagonista offrono all'autore l'opportunità di dimostrare la vanità dell'ottimismo razionalista leibniziano, che vedeva realizzato nell'universo il migliore dei mondi possibili, nonché di sviluppare una straordinaria lezione di sopravvivenza alle catastrofi della natura e della storia.
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