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Candide (1759)

by Voltaire

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
17,532268199 (3.82)539
In this witty political satire, a gentleman plagued by misfortune clings to the belief that all is for the best. Voltaire mocks the eternal optimist philosophy of his day that proclaimed human and natural disasters part of a larger cosmic plan.
  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
    Persian Letters by Montesquieu (joririchardson)
  3. 20
    A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy by Laurence Sterne (AaronPt)
  4. 20
    Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago (Mouseear)
  5. 20
    The Satyricon by Petronius Arbiter (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Hapless protagonists tossed by fate from one misadventure to another
  6. 31
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (owen1218)
  7. 10
    Rasselas by Samuel Johnson (KayCliff)
  8. 10
    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.
  9. 10
    Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: They have the same kind of wide-eyed satirical quality.
  10. 10
    The Adventures of Mr. Nicholas Wisdom by Ignacy Krasicki (DieFledermaus)
  11. 10
    Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice by James Branch Cabell (Crypto-Willobie)
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  13. 23
    Utopia by Thomas More (kxlly)
1750s (1)
Europe (208)
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» See also 539 mentions

English (242)  French (6)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (3)  Italian (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  Hebrew (1)  Tagalog (1)  Portuguese (1)  Arabic (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Icelandic (1)  All languages (268)
Showing 1-5 of 242 (next | show all)
This was a super quick read and it was super intriguing! ( )
  Akacya | Feb 28, 2021 |
I had read this in high school and forgotten everything about it. I didn't love it this time around. There are funny moments, but on the whole it was pretty unsatisfying to me. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
This is a really interesting book (and a classic of European literature) -- simultaneously an "adventure" novel, entertaining on that level (probably better in French, but the translation and audiobook I read was very good), and a satire of philosophers and others -- in particular, the extremes of optimism ("Panglossianism"), and pessimism. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
It's always a special treat when seemingly-imposing classics turn out to be tremendously (and intentionally) farcical. Like a super-condensed Don Quixote, Candide had me exclaiming and snorting out loud frequently with its deliberate ridiculousness. Even old-timey authors liked to have a laugh sometimes! ( )
  kitzyl | Dec 31, 2020 |
I've been making occasional jokes based on a cursory understanding of "All is for the best, in the best of all possible worlds" for a few years now, and finally figured I should get around to actually reading this. I wasn't disappointed! I laughed out loud three pages in and enjoyed it throughout. A breezy read written with sparkling wit — albeit super rapey. My edition also came with a helpful introduction that provided a lot more context, though I'd have appreciated an annotated edition or afterword to explain more of the 18th Century references. ( )
  dhmontgomery | Dec 13, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 242 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (107 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Voltaireprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adams, Robert MartinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aldington, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berthelius, MarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bianconi, PieroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bianconi, PieroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butt, J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butt, John EverettTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calvino, ItaloIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clavé, AntoniIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cuffe, TheoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellissen, AdolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fultz, W. J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gargantini, StellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gauffin, HansCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gordon, DanielEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Havens, George R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hermlin, StephanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Joseph, SydneyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klee, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klee, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehmann, IlseÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehmann, IlseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, GitaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayer, HansAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morand, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morley, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morley, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordberg, OlofTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordin, SvanteAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Odle, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pearson, RogerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prechtl, Michael MathiasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Premsela, Martin J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
René, PomeauEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rider, W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sauvage, SylvainIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smollett, TobiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sprengel, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torrey, Norman L.Editorsecondary 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.
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.”
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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Information from the Hungarian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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In this witty political satire, a gentleman plagued by misfortune clings to the belief that all is for the best. Voltaire mocks the eternal optimist philosophy of his day that proclaimed human and natural disasters part of a larger cosmic plan.

No library descriptions found.

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.
(piopas)
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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.

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