Thoughts by Voltaire, Project Gutenberg 2006 via iBooks (orig 1759), <200 pages

For the TRANSLATED Category of the Back to the Classics, thus allowing me to claim 9 completions for the challenge!

Translated from French.

What is this book about? The adventures of a naive and mostly optimistic young privileged white boy who is brought up to believe he lives in the best of times. It is a satire. He is often beaten, robbed, swindled, abandoned, arrested, beaten up again. On the other hand, he is often rescued, meets many interesting people, finds true love and creates amazing friendships.

Yea, . . . I wasn’t in the mood and am pretty sure I did not “get” the divine meaning of this folly.

Basically, mankind sucks. Make the best of it, if you can.


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6 thoughts on “Candide

  1. You need a good translation and some background to really enjoy Candide, which is one of my favorite tales of all time. Voltaire was disgusted with people who were quoting Leibnitz but trying to simplify what he said down to “all’s for the best in this best of all possible worlds” so he wrote an entire satire to make fun of the idea. There’s a musical based on the story, which is tons of fun. You can look up individual songs from it on YouTube. My favorite is “Glitter and be Gay” which is what Cunegonde sings when in the stereotypical “fallen woman” situation. Ron and I have always sung the song Candide and Cunegonde sing to each other when they decide to get married–he proposes a “simple life” and she agrees enthusiastically, looking forward to “breast of peacock” and “ropes of pearls” in their so-called simple life.

    1. Thank you! I figured I was being unjustly harsh. It sounds like it is a success based on doing what the story INTENDED to do – I’m just not its ideal audience. I really had ZERO idea of it – I expected a boring treatise on democracy or something. I obviously was not educated well or did not pay attention. (I suspect, I have all my life, have been exposed to this title/author as “CLASSIC” and that was about it.)

  2. Pingback: I Completed SIX Categories of the Back to the Classics 2019 – Care's Books and Pie

  3. I read Candide in college for a French History class and had the benefit of that so I “got it”. But what really AMAZES me about Voltaire in general is how progressive he was 300 years ago. Many of his ideas would still alarm conservative folk. And he is a good argument against excusing bad behavior in historical figures as a “products of their time”.

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