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Candide and Other Stories

ISBN-10: 0192834266
ISBN-13: 9780192834263
Edition: 1990
List price: $7.95
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Description: "Candide" is the story of a gentle man who, though pummeled and slapped in every direction by fate, clings desperately to the belief that he lives in " the best of all possible worlds." On the surface a witty, bantering tale, this eighteenth-century  More...

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Book details

List price: $7.95
Copyright year: 1990
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/16/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 376
Size: 5.50" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

"Candide" is the story of a gentle man who, though pummeled and slapped in every direction by fate, clings desperately to the belief that he lives in " the best of all possible worlds." On the surface a witty, bantering tale, this eighteenth-century classic is actually a savage, satiric thrust at the philosophical optimism that proclaims that all disaster and human suffering is part of a benevolent cosmic plan. Fast, funny, often outrageous, the French philosopher's immortal narrative takes Candide around the world to discover that -- contrary to the teachings of his distringuished tutor Dr. Pangloss -- all is not always for the best. Alive with wit, brilliance, and graceful storytelling, "Candide" has become Voltaire's most celebrated work. "From the Paperback edition."

A leading freethinker of his time and an opponent of political and religious oppression, Voltaire was instrumental in popularizing serious philosophical, religious, and scientific ideas that were frequently derived from liberal thinkers in England, where he lived for two years after his imprisonment in the Bastille. Voltaire's writings are wide ranging: He wrote plays in the neoclassic style, such as Oedipus (1718), philosophical essays in a popular vein like Letters on England (1734), which has been referred to as the first bomb hurled against the Ancien Regime; and the Philosophical Dictionary (1764), a catalog of polemical ideas on a large variety of subjects, particularly religion and philosophy. Voltaire was one of the most prolific letter writers in the entire history of literature, and his correspondence has been published in a French edition of 107 volumes. For the twentieth-century reader, Voltaire is best known for his philosophical tale Candide (1759), a masterpiece of satire that is both an attack on the philosophy of metaphysical optimism elaborated earlier in the century by the German philosopher Leibniz and a compendium of the abuses of the Ancien Regime as the author ponders the general problem of evil. Voltaire's unflinching belief in human reason and his easy handling of the language of Enlightenment wit and philosophy led the critic Roland Barthes to dub him "the last happy writer."

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