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Cadide, Zadig and Selected Stories Mass Market Paperback – January 6, 2009
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Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
By his mid-thirties his literary activities precipitated a four-year exile in England where he won the praise of Swift and Pope for his political tracts. His publication, three years later in France, of Lettres philosophiques sur les Anglais (1733)—an attack on French Church and State—forced him to flee again. For twenty years Voltaire lived chiefly away from Paris. In this, his most prolific period, he wrote such satirical tales as “Zadig” (1747) and “Candide” (1759). His old age at Ferney, outside Geneva, was made bright by his adopted daughter, “Belle et Bonne,” and marked by his intercessions in behalf of victims of political injustice. Sharp-witted and lean in his white wig, impatient with all appropriate rituals, he died in Paris in 1778—the foremost French author of his day.
Top Customer Reviews
I remember first being introduced to Voltaire (1694-1778) when I was looking ahead in my history book in school, as was my "pasttime" and was one of the ways how I became a trivial nerd who can name dates and events almost like Rain Man. His picture attracted me because of that smart-aleky grin always on his face. This was a bit surprising considering everyone took serious portraits in that time.
Before long after starting to read this good stuff, you'll have a grin on your face too.
The Age of Reason is where Marie-Francois Arouet, better known by the pen name of Voltaire comes from and it is the setting of one of the most famous satires of all time.
Published in 1759, Voltaire takes apart the philisophical quote by Gottfried Lebniz (1646-1716) which states that, the seventeenth/eighteenth century was "The Best of all Possible Worlds." In Candide, the title naiive character is about to find out just how "great" an era the eighteenth century was.
Next to Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)-whom Voltaire knew and admired, Candide is the most famous satire ever written. It has the best tragical irony and is combined to make it one very memorable and funny reading experience. It seems to me that the eighteenth century was just begging, bowing, scraping, and grovelling to be taken apart by satire and parody, and who would be better to expose the woes of its society than Voltaire, Swift, Alexander Pope (1688-1744), and all the rest of those satirizing cats?!
Probably Mikhail Bulgakov and/or Nikolai Gogol, but those two cats were LATER.
That brings us to the conclusion that there was
NOBODY, THAT'S WHO!!!
Voltaire rips on the aristocracies around the world (not just French!), religion, ignorance and male-dominance; and uplifts liberty, freedom of thought and speech and the scientific method by a "series of unfortunate events" that the protagonist goes through. His subtle wit and satire leave a much stronger mark on the reader than the contemporary empty, loud and goofy comedies. The stories are not just philosophical rants about the author's opinion, rather he exposes the weaker sides of the era's social/religious beliefs, and leaves the interpretation and "moral of the story" to the reader.
If you are looking for a hearty laugh, that is also intellectually stimulating, I strongly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The genre of music and literature I grew up loving had come from a diverse background having been in public schools in the '70's that taught culture as very important as a way of... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Toni-Mari Rodriguez
This book is a compilation of Voltaire's best satirical stories. I love his sense of humor and the fact that many of the themes he addressed in the 18th century are still relevant... Read morePublished on March 22, 2014 by t casey
I've only read CANDIDE--but how can any book that the Catholic Church placed on its Index of Forbidden Books and the fiercely anti-Catholic Swiss Protestants ordered burned be... Read morePublished on February 2, 2014 by K. Connell
Gave this as a gift only expecting Candide but was happy to see the other two selections..a classic to be surePublished on October 2, 2013 by Ken Bandomer
funny and entertaining book. i needed this book for a required class that i took one year ago. it came as soon as possible and was in good condition.Published on August 2, 2013 by Sehrah
It's a classic, a satire and adventure all rolled up into one. Voltaire at his inventive best! What more can be said or needs to be said.Published on November 23, 2012 by cookhound