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Candide and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – May 15, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 Edition edition (May 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199535612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535613
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.8 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Candide, the wittiest and best-loved book of a genius who is still unequaled in his ability to spin art out of philosophy, became a huge bestseller in Europe after it was published in 1759. Voltaire, skeptical of the systems of philosophy that were floated about to explain the workings of the world, used this satirical story about the optimist Candide and his friend Dr. Pangloss to interrogate and discredit the philosophies and approach more closely the truth about human life, suffering, and happiness in the real world. Now, the short novel Candide is considered one of the most important texts of the enlightenment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review


"The inclusion of Zadis and other tales with Candide, and the useful introduction, select bibliography, chronology and notes make this the ideal edition for student use."--John Kandl, Walsh University


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Candide is one of the most laugh-out-loud stories of all time and has aged very well.
Mrs. Bateman
Yes "Candide" is a great work and perhaps the best satircal work of the 18th century, but it alone does not do justice to Voltaire's genius.
Jack L. Keller
This book goes through events really quickly and it’s sort of hard to keep up but if you pay close attention, it’s easy to follow.
TheSkepticalReader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Bucherwurm on December 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
No the story doesn't change from edition to edition, but the supplementary material provided does change. Candide isn't just some hectic adventure story. It really fails as literature in this regard, and certainly Voltaire's purpose was not to make you chuckle while you whiled away a few empty hours. He would weep to think that you missed out on what he was really trying to tell you. Rest easy. I am not going to launch into a stuffy monologue on Leibnitz and 18th century French Catholicism, but in essence you should know that this is the essence of the story. The philosopher Leibnitz (who with Isaac Newton independently invented Calculus) explained the existence of evil in the world thusly: God, in his infinite wisdom, thought of all possible worlds that he could create, and he chose this one; therefore this must be the best of all possible worlds. Voltaire was also continually chastising the Catholic Church for it's lack of tolerance of other beliefs, and for its aristocratic pomp.
Enter now the Norton Critical Edition of Candide. This book presents the 75 page story along with 130 additional pages of various articles and essays on the times in which it was written; commentary by Voltaire and by his contemporaries; and critiques of the story by modern writers. Sure there are always a few dull, academic essays making their mandatory appearance in a book like this, but my suggestion is just to skip them. After all there are a lot of them to choose from.
Learn the story behind the story so to speak. After all it is the background of Candide that makes Candide the forceful satire that it is.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jack L. Keller on July 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book has the title "Candide and other stories", but the exciting part is the other stories. Yes "Candide" is a great work and perhaps the best satircal work of the 18th century, but it alone does not do justice to Voltaire's genius.
Like a lot of people I had read "Candide" years ago for school and was impressed with the work. However, I soon forgot about it and never really thought about Voltaire's other works. As I was browsing Amazon one day I saw this book and thought it was time to revisit this old friend. Boy was I lucky.
Three of the "other stories" are every bit as good as "Candide". "Micromegas" is a fine SciFi work from the 1740's. It comes complete with a Saturnian and Syrian and relates their struggle to understand the Earth's philosophies. "Zadig" unfolds in a similar manner to "Candide" but may be even more biting. Finally "The Ingenu" holds special interest for Americans as it chronicles the problems encountered by a young Huron "Savage" as he relocates to "Civilized" France. The final story "The White Bull" is not in the same class as the rest of the works in this book, but still is a fun read.
It was nice to see my old friend "Candide", but even nicer to meet the new friends that are here. If you are considering buying one of the other copies which have only "Candide" the extra works here make this version so much richer.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Candide," subtitled "Optimism" and purporting to be "translated from the German of Doctor Ralph with the additions which were found in the Doctor's pocket when he died at [the Battle of] Minden in the Year of Our Lord 1759," is the single work of Voltaire that continues to be read and recognized as a canonical work of Western literature. A mere seventy-five pages long, it is an amusing and, at times, cruel book that satirically lays waste to many philosophical ideas of its time while simultaneously illuminating the mind, the temperament and the personal conflicts of its author, a man who, perhaps more than any other, came to define the intellectual spirit of eighteenth century France.
At its most abstract level, "Candide" examines the age-old question of why a supposedly omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent god would create a world so afflicted with evil and suffering. This question particularly troubled Voltaire following the great Lisbon earthquake and fire in November 1755, which killed as many as forty thousand people.
Hence, in the very first page of "Candide," the reader encounters one of literature's most famous characters, Pangloss, the learned tutor of Candide, who "gave instruction in metaphysico-theologico-cosmoloonigology." Echoing the popularizers of Leibniz, the early eighteenth century German philosopher, Pangloss espouses the notion that there cannot be cause without effect, that we live in the best of all possible worlds:
"It is clear, said he, that things cannot be otherwise than they are, for since everything is made to serve an end, everything necessarily serves the best end. Observe: noses were made to support spectacles, hence we have spectacles. Legs, as anyone can plainly see, were made to be breeched, and so we have breeches.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Bateman on August 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Candide, Voltaire raucously lampoons: religion, politics, philosophy, goverment and, specifically, Gottfried Leibniz and his Optimism. I won't ruin any of the fun for those of you who've never read it by spoiling a single thing about the story itself though. The best thing about Candide is, for me, how telling it is of Voltaire himself. He fancied himself an outsider and far removed from those he mocked; even during his lifetime he was considered a borderline philosopher and highly influential countercultural icon, in spite of this. Candide is one of the most laugh-out-loud stories of all time and has aged very well. I don't usually buy critical editions but I definitely recommend this one for all Candide fans as the contributions of praise and criticism include the *exact* same points. Which --- is very funny in a Voltairean sort of way.
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