Candide is a French satire written in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. One of the finest satires ever written, this lively tale follows the absurdly melodramatic adventures of the youthful Candide, who is forced into the army, flogged, shipwrecked, betrayed, robbed, separated from his beloved Cunégonde, and tortured by the Inquisition. As Candide witnesses calamity upon calamity, he becomes disillusioned and discovers that all is not always for the best.
Candide is characterized by its sarcastic tone, dark humor, and erratic, fantastical, fast-moving plot. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies and philosophers, and romance.
Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. It was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition, and intellectual hostility hidden under a thin veil of naïveté. Voltaire never admitted to having written the highly controversial Candide; instead, the work was signed Mister Doctor Ralph.
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This is a classic of satire, with Voltaire's particular puckishness all over it. It skewers every sort of righteous scoundrel who still walks our world, in politics, religion or elsewhere, pronouncing this or that fancy moralistic sermon while mocking poor fools like this hapless sincere fellow Candide, and divesting the latter of every penny. It is a lesson we could use today! It perhaps gets a little repetitive toward the end, but it was fun getting there.
The narrator, Don Hagen, is a favorite of mine, especially with humorous content. His voice has an understated whimsy in it that makes me laugh a lot.
The story focuses on the philosophy of optimism in the face of overwhelming obstacles and misfortune. It seems modern given the fast-pace of the narrative. The theme remains relevant today. A great story and well narrated.
I really enjoyed this recording. The narrator's voice was very pleasant - easy to understand. Voltaire's wit was a wonderful discovery for me. I had just finished the Teaching Company's course on Voltaire (which was excellent) and decided I needed to sample Candide for myself. I was not at all disappointed. I'm sure to come back to this recording in the future.
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