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Candide (1759) - Voltaire

Related: Voltaire - satire - picaresque - optimism - 1750s - 18th century literature - French literature

Derivatives: Candy (1958) - Terry Southern

Candide (1759) - Voltaire [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Candide, ou l'optimisme, (English: Candide, or Optimism) (1759) is a picaresque novel by the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. Voltaire never openly admitted to having written the controversial Candide. The work is signed with a pseudonym: "Monsieur le docteur Ralph," literally "Mr. Dr. Ralph."

Sardonic in outlook, it follows the na´ve protagonist Candide from his first exposure to the precept that "all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds," and on through a series of adventures that dramatically disprove that precept even as the protagonist clings to it.

The novel satirizes the philosophy of Gottfried Leibniz and is a showcase of the horrors of the 18th century world. In Candide, Leibniz is represented by the philosopher Pangloss, the tutor of the title character. Despite a series of misfortunes and misadventures, Pangloss continually asserts that tout est au mieux ("everything is for the best") and that he lives in le meilleur des mondes possibles ("the best of all possible worlds"). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candide [Jan 2006]

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