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Candide (Dover Thrift Editions) by Voltaire

Candide (Dover Thrift Editions) (original 1759; edition 2016)

by Voltaire (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
17,996279202 (3.81)545
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.
Title:Candide (Dover Thrift Editions)
Authors:Voltaire (Author)
Info:Dover Publications, Incorporated (2016), Edition: Reprinted edition, 112 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

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
    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)
  12. 11
    Island by Aldous Huxley (kxlly)
  13. 23
    Utopia by Thomas More (kxlly)
Europe (28)
1750s (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 251 (next | show all)
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 |
"Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable."

Candide is Voltaire's most popular philosophical novella, first published in 1759.

Candide is a good-natured, illegitimate nephew of Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh who lives in his uncle's castle in Westphalia, Germany. There Candide is taught the philosophy of Optimism – that a world overseen by a benevolent God, is the best of all possible worlds and all is ultimately for the best-by his tutor Pangloss.

However, when Candide is caught in a moment of intimacy with the Baron's daughter, Cunegonde, Candide is thrown out of the castle. Candide, though, is unfazed by his expulsion, imbued as he is with Optimism. He is content to accept whatever life throws at him and finds himself recruited into the Prussian army and is exposed to the horrors of war.

"Never was anything so gallant, so well accoutred, so dashing and so well drilled as those two armies. Trumpets, Fifes, hautboys, drums and canon produced a harmony such as was never heard in hell. First the canon toppled about six thousand men on either side; then the muskets removed from the best of all possible worlds between nine and ten thousand scoundrels who were infesting its surface. Next the bayonet proved sufficient reason for the death of a few thousand more. The total may well have amounted to thirty thousand corpses. Candide trembled like a philosopher, and concealed himself as best he could for the duration of this heroic butchery."

So begins a series of disastrous misadventures which sees him visit most of Europe and South America including the Utopian city of El Dorado. As travels he experiences more and more catastrophes whilst moments of good fortune are short-lived. The people he meets along the way also have their own tales of hardship. Candide comes close to shedding his faith in Optimism but faced with the alternatives continues to cling to it.

‘If this is the best of all possible worlds, what must the others be like!’

Candide and his followers for a while set up home in a quiet rural cottage where they manage to find a tolerable existence. Each member of the household hones a skill with which they can contribute to them all finding happiness. However, Candide in particular, soon bores of this way of life and departs in search of further adventure.

With this book Voltaire is attempting to satirise and attack the notion of Optimism, Candide’s journey from catastrophe to catastrophe, both natural and man-made, make a mockery of the philosophy. Voltaire was one of the most influential thinkers of the time. Here he seems to suggest that only by practical action can human suffering be eliminated but withdrawing from the world instead of engaging with it will only give short term relief as previous experiences are a reminder that misery still reigns elsewhere in the world. This idea still seems to have a ring of truth about it today in a world where protectionism and self-isolation of nations seems to be on the rise.

"Judge a man by his questions rather his answers."

However, although I rather enjoyed the writing, in particular the humour in the later chapters, I didn't get as much out of it as I perhaps should have and feel that it's relevance has diminished with time. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Sep 21, 2021 |
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 251 (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, IlseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehmann, IlseÜbersetzersecondary 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.”
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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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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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