Candide and Related Texts
David Wootton’s scalpel-sharp translation of Candide features a brilliant Introduction, a map of Candide’s travels, and a selection of those writings of Voltaire, Leibniz, Pope and Rousseau crucial for fully appreciating this eighteenth-century satiric ma
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Voltaire has the ability to reach out to the contemporary reader, despite the centuries and language differences. In Candide, he explores a complex world of duality, questions traditions (e.g., model of the church, gender roles, and religious stereotypes), and understands our individual roles in this environment. His sense of humor resonates throughout the work, and his sarcasm particularly pierces the church, the institution of marriage, the then popular philosophy of optimism (man is always motivated by goodness), and aristocracy. The reader gets a sense that many of the experiences mirror that of the author. This is a tremendous work because it forces us to question our social roles and how they mesh with our life expectations--still a relevant task today.