Candide, ou l'Optimisme by Voltaire

Discussion in 'Survival Reading Room' started by DKR, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    The Book title - Candide, ou l'Optimisme roughly translates to "Best of all possible worlds"

    Free edition: The Project Gutenberg eBook of Candide, by Voltaire.
    in several formats on the site - I used the Kindle version with no problems.

    Ever since 1759, when Voltaire wrote "Candide" in ridicule of the notion that this is the best of all possible worlds, this world has been a grayer place for readers.

    Written at a time when dissing the Government would get a band of thugs on your doorstep to beat the crap out of you, Voltaire set the world alight with this tale of woe of a young man and how the world treats him. It creates many memorable characters - Dr. Pangloss being my favorite.

    "When Jacques confronts Pangloss' systemic philosophy, the philosopher responds, ".private misfortunes make for public welfare."" Is the guy spot on or what?

    Short version -
    Candide begins in the German town of Westphalia, where Candide, a young man, lives in the castle of Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh. A noted philosopher, Doctor Pangloss, tutors the baron on philosophical optimism, the idea that "all is for the best . . . in this best of all worlds." Candide, a simple man, first accepts this philosophy, but as he experiences the horrors of war, poverty, the maliciousness of man, and the hypocrisy of the church, he begins to doubt the voracity of Pangloss's theory. Thus, philosophical optimism is the focus of Votaire's satire. However, anti-war and anti-church refrains also run throughout the novel.
    Very much in the view of my earlier post about Mark Twain's novel.

    Then again, anti-war and anti-Church chat has always been in style.

    Read, ponder, enjoy. I found it well worth the time to read several times in my life. And for free, the most you will be out is some time.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
    techsar, Bandit99, Ganado and 3 others like this.
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I believe I have that in a dusty bookcase, somewhere... Should be fairly crisp, fresh and new in appearance, too. You make it sound interesting enough for a visit.
  3. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    Written at a time when dissing the Government would get a band of thugs on your doorstep to beat the crap out of you, Voltaire set the world alight with this tale of woe of a young man and how the world treats him. It creates many memorable characters - Dr. Pangloss being my favorite.

    So you are saying that they were Hitlery supporters and lib-tard snowflakes? Gee, something never change do they?
  4. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Q What do Voltaire, Mozart and Ben Franklin have in common?
  5. apache235

    apache235 Monkey+++

    They were horny beyond belief?
  6. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Ben certainly was...I often wonder how he would fare today. Prolly sued into oblivion or jail....

    The answer is:

    They all could have sat down in a pub and enjoyed a pint together.

    The way schools teach what passes for "history", most adults do not know these men were contemporaries.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    My son calls his social studies class, socialism for dummies. He has issues with the way the teacher teaches history.
  8. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    That "teacher" became a Socialist while in college I would suspect. Few people are that far Left until they hit college.

    I look at my own family - All five of us brothers have been 'teachers' - I went the .mil route for the bulk of my adult life, one went back to skool long enough to get his PhD, the rest have MEd or multiple MS. The one sister dropped out of college after getting her Mrs degree and later took up working as a cop.

    I have SIL that are teachers - my point is: that I know these folks first hand and watched college turn them into - for the most part Liberals, at a minimum and in a couple of cases - Socialist loons.

    What is taught as history isn't. It lacks the kind of depth to give it any kind of meaning. Now instruction on the founding of our Nation seems to be taboo.

    Oddly, I blame much of this on the folks that produce and sell the textbooks used in primary grades. In an ill-guided effort to avoid controversy (and the loss of sales) the books have been dumbed down to an incredible extent.

    We used the McGuffey Readers to teach our kiddos to read. Because they work and have worked for generations. Children today are the unwilling victims of the latest fad sweeping out of academia.
    Dunerunner likes this.
  9. OldDude49

    OldDude49 Just n old guy

    BINGO we have a winner!

    it's a combo of books that are used and the teaching instructions given to the teachers IMHO...
  10. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    My understanding is that Voltaire's 'Candide' is a satirical critique of Gottfried Leibniz's metaphysical philosophy, made all the more delicious by use of reductio ad absurdum in his novel.

    Though probably not an atheist, Voltaire had a poor opinion of the Church, and clergy.

    I quite like the following, probably apocryphal attribution to Francois Voltaire:

    The attributed remarks certainly jibe well with Voltaire's sentiments concerning the clergy and church dogma.
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