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Candide (1759)

by Voltaire

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,441280203 (3.81)550
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. 60
    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
    Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago (Mouseear)
  3. 30
    Persian Letters by Montesquieu (jordantaylor)
  4. 30
    The Satyricon by Petronius Arbiter (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Hapless protagonists tossed by fate from one misadventure to another
  5. 30
    Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: They have the same kind of wide-eyed satirical quality.
  6. 30
    A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy by Laurence Sterne (AaronPt)
  7. 41
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (owen1218)
  8. 20
    Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice by James Branch Cabell (Crypto-Willobie)
  9. 20
    The Adventures of Mr. Nicholas Wisdom by Ignacy Krasicki (DieFledermaus)
  10. 10
    Rasselas by Samuel Johnson (KayCliff)
  11. 21
    Island by Aldous Huxley (kxlly)
  12. 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.
  13. 33
    Utopia by Thomas More (kxlly)
Europe (28)
1750s (1)

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English (253)  French (6)  Spanish (4)  Italian (3)  Dutch (3)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Tagalog (1)  Icelandic (1)  Portuguese (1)  Arabic (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (280)
Showing 1-5 of 253 (next | show all)
Bráðskemmtileg háðsádeila á hugmyndafræði 18. aldar. Söguhetjan Birtíngur, í þýðingu Halldórs Laxness, upplifir alls konar ófögnuð og hörmungar en heldur sig þrátt fyrir það við löghyggju þessa tíma og bjartsýnisheimspeki sem kennd er við heimspekinginn Leibniz. Sérhver hlutur er til vegna hlutverks síns líkt og nef er skapað til hafa lonníettur á sér. Þannig voru raunverulegar rökfærslur þess tíma. Það er ekki síður skemmtilegt þegar Birtíngur rambar á fyrirheitna landið Eldorado þar sem allt er fullkomið og allir eru jafnir. En einmitt vegna þess eyrir Birtíngur ekki þar. Hann vill fara á heimaslóðirnar og leita að ástinni og hafa með sér ríkidæmi til þess að hamingjusamari og ríkari en allir hinir - sem náttúrulega er tálsýn.
Þetta er í annað skiptið sem ég les þessa bók og skemmti mér jafnvel betur í þetta skiptið. Á örugglega eftir að lesa hana einhvern tíma aftur.
( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
This novel(la?) was a scathing criticism of baseless optimism. In fact, the only character who seemed content throughout is one we meet toward the end who believes that life is a struggle between equally powerful forces of good and evil; thus, he has little hope in anything. Meanwhile, Candide, our protagonist, is a disciple of the idea that all things are ordained to work out, ultimately, for our good.

In the end, Candide is "broken" into reality like a horse is broken into a saddle: constant riding. At length, Candide forfeits his optimism, and ultimately any consideration of such "highfalutin" concepts as 'ultimate good' and 'destiny,' choosing instead to focus his energies on his labor, especially when others try to draw him back into discussing higher truth.

Voltaire's anti-Christian sentiment is apparent throughout, but at least he is subtle with his criticism, unlike certain agnostic/atheistic voices (I'm looking at you, YouTube comments section).

Certainly valuable to read for a few chuckles even if you ultimately disagree with the author's philosophical premise (guilty). ( )
  djlinick | Jan 15, 2022 |
Starts off hilariously funny albeit quite dark, but the humor stays still as the horrors of life continue. Might feel a little disappointing and repetitive by the end but still fair. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Not a fan of that type of humor. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
This is a fantastic edition. I've read at least parts of seven different translations and Aldington's is the best. Plus, it's got Rockwell Kent's beautiful illustrations. As for the text, it was lost on me the first time I read it as a freshman in college. I didn't think much of it at the time and not much about it for the next 30 years, until I came across someone quoting Candide (something about "thank God we were not mistaken for Jesuits") and decided I needed to read it again. Now I find the satire hilarious, biting, dark, and insightful. ( )
  imagists | Sep 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 253 (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
Blaine, MahlonIllustratorsecondary 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
Kent, RockwellIllustratorsecondary 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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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.”
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(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.

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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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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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