All is for the best? Even reading “Candide”?

candideCandide by Voltaire
31 parts (audiobook)
First published 1759
1/1 French author (2013 book challenge)




I decided to expand my reading to works of eighteenth century and philosophical works. The first name that came to mind from those categories — Voltaire. And this is how I decided to read Candide.

This novel tests optimism by putting the main character, Candide, through harsh, ridiculous, and often almost impossible obstacles. If this is satire, I do not enjoy this type of satire, as the characters were barely developed, highly unrealistic, and did not stir any emotions in me. I suppose all those things were meant to be, to expose the main message of the novel, to say that indeed not “all is for the best”.

I did not enjoy it. By the end of this torturous adventure, an image of Voltaire shaking his finger at me was stuck in my mind. He kept repeating “Remember my lessons, child, and cherish them!” What a creep.

If you like Voltaire or Candide, tell me why. Seriously. Convert me. At least attempt.

Have a wonderful day!



One response to “All is for the best? Even reading “Candide”?

  1. Yeah, after reading it I felt like Voltaire was sort of primitive. It was like watching a kid, smug in his own wittiness, strangle an animal. I wanted to know about his religious beliefs afterward, so I started reading “Letters on England.” I don’t think I made it past the Quakers. He was making fun of a Quaker’s weird beliefs, when his questions made it clear his ideas of religion were seriously convoluted. So, um, I guess I’m not attempting to convert you. 🙂

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