Margot (midnight_birth) wrote in margot_quotes,

Candide or, Optimism by Voltaire.


Title: Candide or, Optimism.
Author: Voltaire.
Genre: Fiction, literature, novella, philosophical fiction, bildungsroman, satire.
Country: France.
Language: French.
Publication Date: January, 1759.
Summary: In Candide he whisks his young hero and friends through a ludicrous variety of tortures, tragedies, and a reversal of fortune, in the company of Pangloss, a "metaphysico-theologo-comolo-nigologist" of unflinching optimism.

My rating: 6/10.
My Review:

♥ Every word they spoke in this long conversation piled wonder upon wonder. Their souls danced upon their tongues, listened in their ears, and sparkled in their eyes.

♥ “Gentlemen,” Cacambo said. “I see you are intent on eating a Jesuit today. That is good. Nothing is more just than to treat one’s enemy like that. The law of nature teaches us to kill our neighbor, and that is what is done all over the world. If my people do not exercise the right to eat our neighbor, it is only because we have enough other good food. But you do not have the same resources. It is definitely preferable to eat one’s enemy than to leave them to the ravens and crows. But, gentlemen, surely you would not want to eat your friends. You think you will be roasting a Jesuit on a spit, but it is your defender, the enemy of your enemies, you are about to roast. As for me, I was born in your country. The gentleman you see before you is my master, and far from being a Jesuit, he has just killed one and is not wearing the spoils - hence your confusion. Should you wish to verify what I am saying, remove his cassock and take it to the nearest border of the Kingdom of Los Padres. There you can ask if my master has not killed a Jesuit officer. It won’t take you long. You can still eat us afterward, if it turns out that I have lied to you. But if I have told you the truth, you know the principles of international jurisprudence, custom, and law only too well not to spare us.”

♥ “O Pangloss!” Candide exclaimed. “You had not supposed that such an abomination was possible! That’s it! I finally must renounce your Optimism!”

“What is Optimism?” Cacambo asked.

“Alas!” Candide replied. “It is the mania of affirming that everything is good when things are bad.”

♥ There was a famous dervish in the neighborhood who was thought to be the best philosopher in all of Turkey. They went to consult him.

“Master,” Pangloss said, “we have come to beg you to tell us why an animal as strange as man was created.”

“Why are you sticking your nose into such things?” the dervish replied. “Is it any of your business?”

“But Reverend Father,” Candide said to him, “there is a horrible amount of evil in the world.”

“What does it matter whether there is good or evil,” the dervish replied. “When His Highness the Sultan sends a vessel to Egypt, does His Highness concern himself whether the mice onboard are snugly settled or not?”

“So what should we do?” Pangloss asked.

“You should keep quiet,” the dervish replied.

“I had flattered myself that I might be able to debate with you a little about effects and causes of the best of all possible worlds, the origin of evil, the nature of the soul, and preestablished harmony,” Pangloss said.

On hearing these words the dervish slammed the door in their faces.
Tags: 1750s, 18th century - fiction, bildungsroman, fiction, fiction based on real events, foreign lit, french - fiction, literature, natural disasters (fiction), novellas, philosophical fiction, satire, seven years' war (fiction), translated

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