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ConnieAnnKirk
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Candide and Optimism

"Optimism" is the alternative title of this novel.  How does Voltaire deal with optimism in Candide?
 
~ConnieK
~ConnieAnnKirk




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Peppermill
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Re: Candide and Optimism

A "published" viewpoint:

http://librivox.org/candide-by-voltaire/

Candide is a relentless, brutal assault on government, society, religion, education, and, above all, optimism. Dr. Pangloss teaches his young students Candide and Cunegonde that everything in this world is for the best, a sentiment they cling to as the world steps in to teach them otherwise. The novel is brilliant, hilarious, blasphemous. . . and Voltaire never admitted to writing it. (Summary by Ted Delorme)
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: Candide and Optimism

[ Edited ]
What do you think, Pepper?  Do you agree with the published viewpoint you quote below? 
 
~ConnieK
 


Peppermill wrote:
A "published" viewpoint:

http://librivox.org/candide-by-voltaire/

Candide is a relentless, brutal assault on government, society, religion, education, and, above all, optimism. Dr. Pangloss teaches his young students Candide and Cunegonde that everything in this world is for the best, a sentiment they cling to as the world steps in to teach them otherwise. The novel is brilliant, hilarious, blasphemous. . . and Voltaire never admitted to writing it. (Summary by Ted Delorme)




Message Edited by ConnieK on 03-21-2008 10:09 AM
~ConnieAnnKirk




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Re: Candide and Optimism


ConnieK wrote:
What do you think, Pepper? Do you agree with the published viewpoint you quote below?
~ConnieK

Peppermill wrote:
A "published" viewpoint:

http://librivox.org/candide-by-voltaire/

Candide is a relentless, brutal assault on government, society, religion, education, and, above all, optimism. Dr. Pangloss teaches his young students Candide and Cunegonde that everything in this world is for the best, a sentiment they cling to as the world steps in to teach them otherwise. The novel is brilliant, hilarious, blasphemous. . . and Voltaire never admitted to writing it. (Summary by Ted Delorme)

Don't know, Connie. I always hesitate to apply "brutal" to words, since physical attacks seem so much more brutal, in my schema. But, words can indeed be scathing and parts of Candide certainly are. Yet, I am reminded of the distinctions between satire and sarcasm that Choisya drew for us -- if the aim is to correct, how much leeway do we allow for purpose? All in all, however, I could apply those same words: relentless, brutal, brilliant, hilarious, blasphemous to some very recent commentary on state level politics. Still, Voltaire's brush is applied very broadly. I do think it telling that Voltaire apparently considered it appropriate self protection to deny authorship. If true, perhaps we have a tiny insight as to whether HE would have agreed with Ted Delorme.

In the end one asks, what differences has Candide made? But how does or can one know?
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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glassmask
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Re: Candide and Optimism

As far as I can tell, Voltaire hasn't disagreed with me, although he was a bit of a contentious cuss, so it's certainly possible. . .

I enjoyed recording Candide, and it has become my "best-seller" with over 50,000 downloads. The summary was written after reading a few on-line bios, and seemed reasonably accurate to me at the time. I was stunned to learn there was a sequel involving Candide's further adventures traveling across Asia, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Ted
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Peppermill
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Re: Candide and Optimism



glassmask wrote:
As far as I can tell, Voltaire hasn't disagreed with me, although he was a bit of a contentious cuss, so it's certainly possible. . .

I enjoyed recording Candide, and it has become my "best-seller" with over 50,000 downloads. The summary was written after reading a few on-line bios, and seemed reasonably accurate to me at the time. I was stunned to learn there was a sequel involving Candide's further adventures traveling across Asia, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Ted


Ted -- you must check from time-to-time where your links have migrated!

Neat that you checked in here. Appreciated your viewpoint. I haven't tried the download capability, so haven't heard your voice. Some of us were disappointed that we didn't get more discussion of that "contentious cuss" here.

Might you eventually record the sequel?
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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glassmask
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Re: Candide and Optimism

I've never been a fan of sequels, but when I get a chance to read through "Candide 2," we'll see what happens. I did record a chapter of Voltaire's "Zadig" for a collaborative book at LibriVox, and right now I'm a few weeks from finishing up Mark Twain's "The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories." Recording has to share time with other hobbies as well as real life, of course.

From what I can gather online, Voltaire seems to have enjoyed his position as a troublemaker, which I think is a very healthy attitude for creative people to have. There's a line between the smug meanness of a Bill O'Reilly or a Christopher Hitchens and the simple bull-headed joy I get from Voltaire or Robert Ingersoll. I don't recall who said "An artist's duty is not to respond to society; it is to make society respond to him." Painter Jeff Jones, maybe? But that's the feel I get from Voltaire.

Ted
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