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ConnieAnnKirk
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Chapters 1-10

Please limit discussion to Chapter 10 and earlier in this thread.
~ConnieAnnKirk




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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: Chapters 1-10

This message has been moved to a more appropriate location. This helps to keep our boards organized. Just moving the media discussion to its own new thread--thanks!

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anne7676
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Re: Chapters 1-10

I have ALWAYS wondered how to properly pronounce "Cunegonde" -- anybody care to enlighten me? 
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Peppermill
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Re: Chapters 1-10

[ Edited ]

anne7676 wrote:
I have ALWAYS wondered how to properly pronounce "Cunegonde" -- anybody care to enlighten me?
Doesn't really answer your question, Anne, but you might find this interesting:

http://www.answers.com/topic/cun-gonde-3

If you don't find your answer elsewhere, you might be interested in this site, which supposedly offers a free audio mp3 of Candide. I have never used the site, and hence it is a user beware suggestion:

http://audiofreemp3books.com/#

Message Edited by Peppermill on 03-02-2008 12:39 AM
"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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grayelf
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Re: Chapters 1-10

I was afraid that Voltaire's style might be similar to Rabelais' (I've never gotten beyond Chapter 22 in Book 1 in four tries).  But after ten chapters, I was pleasantly surprised to find the 18th century satire quite enjoyable.
 
Lucky Candide, to be the bastard of a seventy-one quarterlings father, it is clearly the best of all possible worlds for him; he could have been left on a hillside as a child.  Interestingly it seems as if Candide's mother was only one quarterling better than her paramour at seventy-two.  Voltaire pokes fun of the French (all) aristocracy.
 
I loved Pangloss' teachings: 'metophysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology.'  [I have to find out what cosmology was studied in the 1700s; I took a course in it two years ago.]  His experimental physics seems to be more like practical biology.  His philosophy (?) is cause and effect leading to the best end, and that end is the best of all possible worlds.
 
But when pheronomes strike Candide, he gets booted (literally) from hearth and home for kissing his first cousin.
 
Lucky for Candide, two noble fellows from Bulgaria find him starving and pick him to be a hero in spite of him being an Abarian.  The Bulgarian Army needs 'heros' to fill out the rolls of the dead in their war against the Abarians.  Voltaire seems to be making a savage comment on the mix of war and religion.  The description sounds eerily like the Balkans of modern times.
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TammieCorcoran
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Re: Chapters 1-10

I think Pangloss' philosophy is interesting.  Cause and effect leading to the best end.  We see many causes and effects - to Candide's misfortune - in the first 10 chapters.  We have to wonder what all of these "causes" lead to in the end, but that's for another thread :smileyhappy:.
 
Candide seems to be a resilliant character.  I like him so far (although the drawings of him in the B&N edition are a bit scary). 
 
Does everyone believe the story of the old woman that befriends Candide and his cousin?
 
Tammie
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Peppermill
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Re: Chapters 1-10


Tammie wrote: ...Does everyone believe the story of the old woman that befriends Candide and his cousin?>
Is Candide about believing, or is it an exercise in suspending "believing" to look for "cause and effect"?
"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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Peppermill
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Re: Chapters 1-10

From Cliff Notes:

"Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh A vain, pompous man, living in the castle at Westphalia. He, along with his son, is considered a possible representation of Frederick the Great."

Has anyone encountered or know how to interpret "Thunder-ten-tronckh" beyond perhaps "big noise"?

A couple of links on Fredericks of Prussia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_William_II_of_Prussia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_II_of_Prussia
"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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historybuff234
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Re: Chapters 1-10

What a pleasant suprise! I just got done reading this a few days ago unaware that we were having a reading of it. Excellent!
 
I was wondering also Pepper about that. Now I don't speak German so I may not know the words very well in the name. I think that name might mean big, dumb, stupid, and loud. Perhaps Voltaire wanted to stereotype Germans? But then that is just the oppinion of somebody who has read the book and has no PhD to back it up!
 
I was also wondering how to pronounce Cunegonde.
The important thing, is to keep the important thing the important thing.
-Albert Einstein
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Peppermill
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Re: Chapters 2

"An able surgeon cured Candide in three weeks by means of emollients taught by Dioscorides. He had already a little skin, and was able to march when the King of the Bulgarians gave battle to the King of the Abares."

Anyone who can tell us more about who "Dioscorides" is? The "King of the Abares"?

Here's a late 1800's map of Bulgaria:
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/balkan_boundaries_1914.jpg

Probably more current:
http://biega.com/bulgaria.html

Definitely more current:
http://geography.about.com/library/cia/blcbulgaria.htm


Anyone have a map link that would be particularly fun/relevant with Candide?
"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: Chapters 1-10

Welcome, historybuff234!  Must be serendipity!
 
~ConnieK
 


historybuff234 wrote, in part:
What a pleasant suprise! I just got done reading this a few days ago unaware that we were having a reading of it. Excellent!
 


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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Peppermill
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Re: Lisbon Earthquake of 1755

From a book review:

The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, by Nicholas Shrady. Viking, $25.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-670-01851-2

"The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 exerted a great cultural, religious and political impact, argues Shrady (Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa) in this revelatory volume. On November 1 (both a Sunday and All Saints' Day) at 9:30 a.m., a titanic earthquake shattered the quiet, turning the pious city's packed houses of worship into crypts as their walls collapsed. Five days of firestorms consumed the buildings left standing and a tsunami drowned the benighted survivors who escaped toward the ocean. As Shrady deftly details, Europe was stunned by the merciless destruction of one of the continent's most opulent cities.

"Leading intellectual and philosophical figures—Voltaire, Rousseau, Pope, Goethe and Kant, among others—became fascinated by the question of divine intervention in human affairs. Lisbon, still home to the Inquisition, had been immolated: was this evidence of God's wrath or of God's nonexistence? The latter interpretation soon found its way into Voltaire's cynical, secularist Enlightenment masterpiece, Candide.

"Within the decade, scholars had created the new discipline of seismology, and governments were taking their first faltering steps toward urban planning and disaster control. Shrady's account will find the same ready audience that delight not only in tales of catastrophe but in smart, stylishly written history. (Apr. 7)"

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6523569.html
"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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Peppermill
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Re: Lisbon Earthquake of 1755

"Poem On the Lisbon Disaster; Or an Examination of the Axiom, 'all Is Well'" by Voltaire

http://tinyurl.com/24r994

It's all worth reading, but below is an excerpt:

# Did fallen Lisbon deeper drink of vice
# Than London, Paris, or sunlit Madrid?
# In these men dance; at Lisbon yawns the abyss.
# Tranquil spectators of your brothers’ wreck,
# Unmoved by this repellent dance of death,
# Who calmly seek the reason of such storms,
# Let them but lash your own security;
# Your tears will mingle freely with the flood.
# When earth its horrid jaws half open shows,
# My plaint is innocent, my cries are just.
# Surrounded by such cruelties of fate,
# By rage of evil and by snares of death,
# Fronting the fierceness of the elements,
# Sharing our ills, indulge me my lament.
# “’T is pride,” ye say—“the pride of rebel heart,
# To think we might fare better than we do.”
"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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Peppermill
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Re: Chapters 2

To partially answer my own question, I have now read somewhere that Abares refers to France.

Peppermill wrote:
"An able surgeon cured Candide in three weeks by means of emollients taught by Dioscorides. He had already a little skin, and was able to march when the King of the Bulgarians gave battle to the King of the Abares."

Anyone who can tell us more about who "Dioscorides" is? The "King of the Abares"?



"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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Dagor
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Re: Chapters 2

Re: Dioscorides, a Greek living in the 1st century CE, in Anazarba, Anatolia during Roman control of the Mediterranean Empire; famous for his pharmacological work "Materia Medica." As Candide takes place in the 18th century, I am wondering if there is a slight "dig" intended? This "worthy surgeon" who heals Candide is so conservative and "backward" that he is still using the remedies suggested some 1700 years before the action of this narrative? Or, is Voltaire pointing out the brilliance of Dioscorides, suggesting that the remedies of this ancient pharmacologist are still the sovereign cures of the 18th century? I suppose to recover from an actual "flaying" in three weeks time with no major infection could be considered almost miraculous in the pre-antiseptic era?

see http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/aconite/materiamedica.html

If you read Abar for France, does that not make the Bulgars Prussians, and the war referred to would be the Seven Year's War? There may also be a pun intended here, regarding the connection between english "bugger," french "bougre," and the term "bulgare" = Bulgarian, regarding the sexual proclivities of King Frederick The Great of Prussia...

Voltaire presents a picaresque/ risque set of mannerisms in his satires when viewed from the bourgeois standards of our comfortably conservative, post-Reagan world.
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Peppermill
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Re: Chapters 1-4

[ Edited ]
Below is an excerpt from the SparkNotes analysis of Chapters 1-4, an analysis I found quite helpful.

"Pangloss is a parody of all idle philosophers who debate subjects that have no real effect on the world. The name of his school of thought, metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology, pokes fun at Pangloss’s verbal acrobatics and suggests how ridiculous Voltaire believes such idle thinkers to be. More specifically, critics agree that Pangloss’s optimistic philosophy parodies the ideas of G.W. von Leibniz, a seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher who claimed that a pre-determined harmony pervaded the world. Both Pangloss and Leibniz claim that this world must be the best possible one, since God, who is perfect, created it. Human beings perceive evil in the world only because they do not understand the greater purpose that these so-called evil phenomena serve. Leibniz’s concept of the world is part of a larger intellectual trend called theodicy, which attempts to explain the existence of evil in a world created by an all-powerful, perfectly good God. Voltaire criticizes this school of philosophical thought for its blind optimism, an optimism that appears absurd in the face of the tragedies the characters in Candide endure." SparkNotes {Emphasis added.}

Theodicy. A not particularly well-vetted Wikepedia article that does provide a quick sense of many of the issues surrounding this concept. Would appreciate other links that others view as better supported.

Leibniz. Try this site if interested in exploring Leibniz's philosophies. However, the relationship to Candide is not straight-forward.

Leibniz2. This, while less reliable, may be easier to comprehend. Given Leibniz's great contributions to mathematics, one wonders if there may be some professional jealousy underlying the satire of Candide. Or, is Voltaire just making certain his readers recognize that brilliance in one field does not necessarily imply the same in another?

Here is a more straight forward commentary on Leibniz vs Voltare on Optimism.

Message Edited by Peppermill on 03-19-2008 04:33 PM
"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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