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This comedic novel not only an important work of literature but also one of the top-10 banned books of all time.
Voltaire's "Candide", a controversial work counted among the greatest books of European literature, is both accessible to the average reader and certain to make you laugh. "Candide" is all the more remarkable in that its comedy is derived from some of the most tragic characters and situations imaginable.
"Candide" was influenced by various atrocities of the mid-18th century, most notably the devastating Lisbon earthquake of 1755, the outbreak of the horrific Seven Years’ War in the German states, and the unjust execution of the English Admiral John Byng. This philosophical tale is often hailed as a paradigmatic text of the Enlightenment, but it is also an ironic attack on the optimistic beliefs of the Enlightenment. Voltaire’s critique is directed at Leibniz’s principle of sufficient reason, which maintains that nothing can be so without there being a reason why it is so. The consequence of this principle is the belief that the actual world must be the best one humanly possible.
Candide (the name refers to purity and frankness) is the tale’s main character. He embodies the philosophical idea of optimism that Voltaire intends to oppose.
Candide has a series of increasingly bizarre adventures. After being banished from his childhood home, he joins the army, flees the Inquisition, travels to South America, finds the mythical city of El Dorado, and then reunites with his beloved Cunegonde...