Candide and Related Texts

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Hackett Publishing, Mar 10, 2000 - 190 pages
David Wootton’s scalpel-sharp translation of Candide features a brilliant Introduction, a map of Candide’s travels, and a selection of those writings of Voltaire, Leibniz, Pope and Rousseau crucial for fully appreciating this eighteenth-century satiric ma

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Voltaire has the ability to reach out to the contemporary reader, despite the centuries and language differences. In Candide, he explores a complex world of duality, questions traditions (e.g., model of the church, gender roles, and religious stereotypes), and understands our individual roles in this environment. His sense of humor resonates throughout the work, and his sarcasm particularly pierces the church, the institution of marriage, the then popular philosophy of optimism (man is always motivated by goodness), and aristocracy. The reader gets a sense that many of the experiences mirror that of the author. This is a tremendous work because it forces us to question our social roles and how they mesh with our life expectations--still a relevant task today. 


Candide or Optimism
Leibniz Metaphysics Summarized
Pope Essay on Man 173334 Selections
Rousseau versus Voltaire
Poem on the Lisbon Disaster
JeanJacques Rousseau Letter to Voltaire on Optimism 18 August 1756
The History of the Travels of Scarmentado Written by Himself 1756
Voltaires Correspondence
Well All Is from the Portable Philosophical Dictionary 1764
Wives Obey Your Husbands

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Page 87 - Awake, my ST JOHN ! leave all meaner things To low ambition, and the pride of Kings. Let us (since Life can little more supply Than just to look about us and to die) Expatiate free o'er all this scene of Man ; A mighty maze! but not without a plan; A Wild, where weeds and flow'rs promiscuous shoot; Or Garden, tempting with forbidden fruit.
Page 89 - Heaven from all creatures hides the book of Fate, All but the page prescribed, their present state: From brutes what men, from men what spirits know: Or who could suffer being here below? The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day, Had he thy reason, would he skip and play? Pleased to the last, he crops the flowery food, And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood.
Page 92 - Cease then, nor order imperfection name : Our proper bliss depends on what we blame. Know thy own point : This kind, this due degree Of blindness, weakness, heaven bestows on thee. Submit. — In this, or any other sphere, Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear : Safe in the hand of one disposing pow'r, Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
Page 88 - The latent tracts, the giddy heights, explore Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar; Eye Nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies, And catch the manners living as they rise ; , Laugh where we must, be candid where we can, But vindicate the ways of God to man.
Page 90 - His soul, proud Science never taught to stray Far as the solar walk, or milky way; Yet simple Nature to his hope has given, Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heaven; Some safer world in depth of woods embraced, Some happier island in the watery waste, Where slaves once more their native land behold, No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold. To Be, contents his natural desire, He asks no Angel's wing, no Seraph's fire; But thinks, admitted to that equal sky, His faithful dog shall bear...
Page 92 - Better for us, perhaps, it might appear, Were there all harmony, all virtue here; That never air or ocean felt the wind; That never passion discomposed the mind. But all subsists by elemental strife; And passions are the elements of life.
Page 88 - Why form'd so weak, so little, and so blind? First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess, Why form'd no weaker, blinder, and no less?
Page 92 - What makes all physical or moral ill ? There deviates nature, and here wanders will. God sends not ill ; if rightly understood, Or partial ill is universal good, Or change admits, or nature lets it fall, Short, and but rare, till man improv'd it all.

About the author (2000)

David Wootton is Anniversary Professor of History, University of York.

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