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Candide Or, Optimism

ISBN-10: 0812972015
ISBN-13: 9780812972016
Edition: N/A
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Description: A flamboyant and controversial personality of enormous wit and intelligence, Voltaire remains one of the most influential figures of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. Candide, his masterpiece, is a brilliant satire of the theory that our world  More...

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Book details

List price: $12.00
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/11/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 144
Size: 5.20" wide x 8.00" long x 0.30" tall
Weight: 0.242
Language: English

A flamboyant and controversial personality of enormous wit and intelligence, Voltaire remains one of the most influential figures of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. Candide, his masterpiece, is a brilliant satire of the theory that our world is “the best of all possible worlds.” The book traces the picaresque adventures of the guileless Candide, who is forced into the army, flogged, shipwrecked, betrayed, robbed, separated from his beloved Cunegonde, tortured by the Inquisition, et cetera, all without losing his resilience and will to live and pursue a happy life. This Modern Library edition, published to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House, is a facsimile of the first book ever released under the Random House colophon. It includes the timeless illustrations by Rockwell Kent, a twentieth-century artist whose wit and genius serve as a counterpart and compliment to Voltaire’s. From the Hardcover 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."

Diane Johnson is an American-born novelist and essayist. A two-time finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in three different genres--essay, biography,and fiction--she is the author of the bestselling novel Le Divorce, a 1997 National Book Award finalist, as well as twelve other books, including the novels Persian Nights, Health and Happiness, Lying Low, The Shadow Knows, and Burning (all available in Plume editions).  She is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and splits her time between San Francisco and Paris.

Voltaire is a prominent and prolific author, artist, and merchadising powerhouse in the alternative culture market. Never one to rest, he jumped at the chance to do What Is Goth? writing half of it while on a tour of various comic conventions and events. He lives in New York City... where else... and has an extensive touring schedule to support his various musical, print, and other ventures.

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