Candide

Candide

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Overview

Candide by Voltaire, Tom Whitworth

Caustic and hilarious, Candide has ranked as one of the world's great satires since its first publication in 1759. It concerns the adventures of the youthful Candide, disciple of Dr. Pangloss. In the course of his travels in Europe and South America, Candide sees and suffers such misfortune that it is difficult for him to believe that this is "the best of all possible worlds," as Dr. Pangloss has assured him. Indeed, it seems to be quite the opposite. In brilliantly skewering such naivete, Voltaire mercilessly exposes and satirizes romance, science, philosophy, religion, and government-the ideas and forces that permeate and control the lives of men. After many trials and travails, Candide is reunited with Cunegonde, his sweetheart. He then buys a little farm in Turkey where he and Cunegonde, Dr. Pangloss, and others retire. In the end, Candide decides that the best thing in the world is to cultivate one's own garden.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400141081
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date: 02/01/2009
Edition description: Library - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Francois Marie Arouet (1694–1778)—pen name Voltaire—was one of France's greatest writers and philosophers. His best-known works include Zadig, Candide, and the Dictionnaire Philosophique.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter Three

How Candide escaped from among the Bulgars,
and what became of him

Nothing was as beautiful, smart, dazzling, or well ordered as the two armies. The trumpets, fifes, oboes, drums, and cannons created a harmony such as never existed in Hell. First of all, the cannons struck down almost six thousand men on each side. Then the muskets removed from the best of worlds between nine and ten thousand rogues infecting its surface. The bayonet was also the sufficient reason for the death of several thousand men. The total might well have come to some thirty thousand souls. Candide, trembling like a philosopher, hid himself as best he could during this heroic butchery.

Finally, while the two kings had the Te Deum sung, each in his camp, Candide decided to go elsewhere to reason over effects and causes. Climbing over heaps of dead and dying men, he arrived at a neighboring village that lay in ashes: it was an Avar village that the Bulgars had burnt down in accordance with the principles of international law. Old men covered in wounds watched their butchered wives die clasping their infants to their bleeding breasts. Girls who had been disemboweled after having sated the natural needs of some of the heroes were breathing their last. Others, covered in burns, were begging to be put out of their misery. Brains were splattered on the ground alongside severed arms and legs.

Candide fled as fast as he could to another village. This one belonged to the Bulgars, and the Avar heroes had treated it the same way. Stepping over palpitating limbs and climbing over ruins, Candide, carrying a few provisions in his bag, finally managed to get out of the theater of war, never forgetting Mademoiselle Cunégonde. His provisions ran out when he reached Holland, but having heard that everyone in that country was rich and Christian, he did not doubt that he would be treated as well as he had been at the castle of His Lordship the Baron before he was driven from it on account of Mademoiselle Cunégonde’s beautiful eyes.

He asked for alms from several grave personages, all of whom replied that if he continued plying this trade he would be locked up in a house of correction, where he would be taught how to work for a living.
Then he approached a man who had just addressed a big crowd for a whole hour on the topic of charity.
The orator eyed him suspiciously and asked, "What are you doing here? Did you come for the Good Cause?"

"There is no effect without a cause," Candide replied modestly. "Everything is necessarily interconnected and arranged for the best. I had to be driven out of the presence of Mademoiselle Cunégonde, run the gauntlet, and beg for bread until I can earn my own. All this could not be otherwise."

"My friend," the orator said, "do you believe that the Pope is the Antichrist?"

"I have never yet heard that he is," Candide replied. "But whether he is the Antichrist or not, I need bread."

"You don’t deserve any," the orator said. "Go away, you rogue, you wretch! Don’t come near me again as long as you live!"

The orator’s wife poked her head out the window and, seeing the man who doubted that the Pope was the Antichrist, poured out on his head a chamber pot full of ...

Merciful Heaven! To what excess ladies will carry the zeal of religion!

A man who had not been baptized, a good Anabaptist by the name of Jacques, saw the cruel and disgraceful manner in which one of his brothers, a featherless, two-legged being with a soul, was being treated.* He took him to his place, washed him, gave him bread and beer, made him a gift of two florins, and even wanted to teach him to work in his factory, which manufactured Persian fabrics in Holland. Candide almost prostrated himself before him, exclaiming, "Doctor Pangloss had told me that everything is for the best in this world. I am infinitely more moved by your extreme generosity than by the severity of that man in the black cloak and his wife."

The following day, Candide was out walking when he came across a beggar covered in pustules. He had lifeless eyes, a nose that was rotting away, a mouth that was twisted, black teeth, and a rasping voice. He coughed violently, spitting out a tooth every time.

* The Anabaptists were an extreme Protestant sect that did not believe in infant baptism–in their view only adult baptism was valid. They believed in absolute social and religious equality. "A featherless, two-legged being" is a humorous reference to Plato’s definition of man.

Table of Contents


Introduction   Johnson Kent Wright     xiii
Translator's Note     xxvii
How Candide was raised in a noble mansion, and how he was driven away     1
What happened to Candide among the Bulgars     4
How Candide saved himself from the Bulgars, and what became of him     7
How Candide met his old philosophy teacher, Doctor Pangloss, and what had happened to him     10
Tempest, shipwreck, earthquake, and what happened to Doctor Pangloss, Candide, and Jacques the Anabaptist     14
How they had a beautiful auto-da-fe in order to put an end to the earthquake, and how Candide was flogged     18
How an old woman took care of Candide and how he got back his beloved     20
Cunegonde's story     22
What happened to Cunegonde, to Candide, to the Grand Inquisitor, and to a Jew     26
In what difficulty Candide, Cunegonde, and the old woman reached Cadiz, and how they boarded a ship     28
The old woman's story     31
More about the old woman's misfortunes     35
How Candide was forced to leave lovely Cunegonde and the old woman     40
How Candide and Cacambo were greeted by the Jesuits of Paraguay     43
How Candide killed his dear Cunegonde's brother     47
What happened to the two travelers with two girls, two monkeys,and the savages known as Oreillons     50
Arrival of Candide and his valet in the land of Eldorado, and what they saw there     55
What they saw in Eldorado     60
How they got to to Surinam, and how Candide came to know Martin     67
What happened at sea to Candide and Martin     74
Candide and Martin approach the French coast and argue     78
What happened to Candide and Martin in France     80
Candide and Martin reach the British coast, and what they see there     94
Paquette and Friar Giroflee     96
Visit to Lord Pococurante, a nobleman of Venice     102
A dinner that Candide and Martin shared with six foreigners, and who they were     109
Candide's journey to Constantinople     114
What happened to Candide, Cunegonde, Pangloss, Martin, etc.     119
How Candide found Cunegonde and the old woman     123
Conclusion     124
Suggested Reading     131

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Candide 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 319 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Candide was a beautiful story, filled with humor, love, and lots of humor. I think the story is still stimulating even after hundreds of years! I recently read this for my Classics Book Club and we all took turns reading various passages from our varying translations of the book, which is something we tend to do each month. My only complaint about the story is this: the Morley translation (of the B&N Classics version) was AWFUL! All of the beautiful, poetic passages that the others in my group read aloud were translated as drivel in my copy (the only one with the B&N version of this book in our group). It seemed as if Mr. Morley literally translated the French to English (such as "the horse brown" instead of "the brown horse") and thus, lost much of the wonderful wordsmithing of Voltaire. I almost cried when it was my turn to read the opening passage because I knew the B&N version was horrible! Aside from the horrible translation, I would recommend this story to anyone. I wouldn't however, recommend THIS translation of the story. Sorry B&N...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't think I know enough of the political and historical background of the times to really understand parts ofthis story. But it was still interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Candide as a story is worth reading in any language, although it is much funnier and much more enjoyable in original French. However, the reason for that may just be that this is a very poor translation. The language is more archaic than in the original, and many subtleties are lost through poor word choice (for example, in this version Martin "hopes" that all is for the best, while in the original he pessimistically "wishes" that everything was indeed AT ITS BEST). Nevertheless, Candide is a witty and brilliant story that can be enjoyed for philosophical enlightenment or simply for a rainy day. I would recommend, though, that if you're going to read it in English, get a different edition. Normally B&N Classics are nice, quality editions, but this is sadly an exception.
Sifari More than 1 year ago
This book is definately one of the best things I've read in a while. The humor is great, and the characters all seem to fit in a way that makes the story an interesting one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wasn't as taken with this book as many of the reviewers here, but found the book worth reading and interesting since I haven't ever read somethign from this time by a man.
dayzd89 More than 1 year ago
I always feel silly reviewing classics because what hasn't been said about them, right? But perhaps my take on it is personal. Lately I have been severely depressed. This is nothing new; I've battled depression and anxiety for ten years now. I know that it will never go away completely. But lately it's been so bad, I find myself questioning if my life even matters at all. For the past few months, I've harbored very dark thoughts and have gone through some rough patches. But reading this book has instilled me with renewed hope. While it does critique blind optimism, the ending is rather optimistic in the fact that it conveys a positive message. I like how it ends with realism rather than forced optimism. The main idea I got from the conclusion is that life will happen and that even though bad things will occur to us, we need to keep moving forward no matter what. We have to try to be realistic, which is very hard, but in the end I think it's better for us. Personally, I find a realistic approach to be more fulfilling than blind hope. It helps me to move on and challenge myself. Voltaire is a wonderful writer and I can't wait to read his other works. I highly recommend the novel to Philosophy fans and lovers of classical literature.
Luciano-E More than 1 year ago
Candide by Voltaire is a tale that leaves the reader questioning his or her own hardships, experiences, and views of the world. The philosophical aspect of the book teaches the reader of many different views of people based on their experiences. For example the Character of the old woman in the book serves to represent a pessimistic and hopeless view of the world. The old lady lives her life thinking of what should have been and lives her life in the present in a depressed state. Candide, however had suffered many hardships throughout his life too, always tried to keep a positive mind set and never gave up on the hope for a better life.  The book also leaves the reader questioning the issues of morality and human nature. The injustices showed in the book such as rape and murder were recurring throughout the story. These terrible acts done by other people to the main characters in the book shows that human nature is cruel and unforgiving. Voltaire makes it so Candide never gets what he had been so desperately searching for through the course of the whole story in the end to make a point that in the real world, most of the time people do not end up getting what they want and they usually end up having to settle for less that their ideal “happy ending.” Candide is a very realistic and blunt representation of hardship and the overall human experience. The moral of the story is that all a person can do in life is attempt to stay positive and to keep moving forward when faced with hardship. This story provides many aspects and ways that people deal with life when faced with suffering and turmoil. The book serves as an accurate representation of human emotion and coping methods in the real world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Voltaire's Candide offers a very witty and comical satire on society. The novel is very funny and is worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Strange little story
ReadingRaven More than 1 year ago
Candid is utterly tragic, and yet magnificent humor is so cleverly entwined. I found myself laughing throughout the novel. It is profound and beautifully disparaging, and I will read this over again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! It even had illustrations that showed nicely on my nook.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved Candide for its blatent criticism of Leibniz, bleeding with sarcasm and disgust from every page. It is just so cool (for the lack of a better term) that Voltaire wrote a novel just to trash an opposing viewpoint. This book actually made me laugh while reading about the inquisition.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slithers in, his scales gleaming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in for the first time, looking around
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(Mkay) "Name's Brooke. How 'bout you?" She said, picking up her skateboard, holding it under her left arm.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly. Hilarious. Cx. Your way of approaching certain situations, and the lack of grammar...and such...Causes us to be as<_>sholes. Just improve on your attitude...and we'll be on our way :3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excuse me, bit<_>ch... Who the hell do you think you are... Talkin' 'bout the good people that way. Listen, I'm sorry no one wants to hit that, but you don't have to call them as<_>sholes. At least they have good grammar, and punctuation. Whereas yourself, had to put a period in between 'as<_>sholes.' ^~^ Good day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The TARDIS whooshed up " Hey Fen " she said.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SETHS MY BROTHER?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! XD HI MAD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in. "Well, well, well what do we have here?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He walks in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in