Voltaire's razor-sharp satire on philosophical optimism, Candide, is coupled here with another of the author's most celebrated works, Zadig. Both challenge the moral and philosophical orthodoxies of the day with humor and sly wit, while parodying the clichéd formulas of so many contemporary novels.
In the tradition of his very popular Candide, Zadig is what might be called a "philosophical tale." Zadig, a handsome young man with a fine education, is puzzled by the uncertainties of his destiny. He attains great success in government but is unsuccessful in love. Despite his wisdom and shrewdness, he meets with a number of misfortunes. The central question of the story is, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
These two classic coming-of-age stories by Voltaire parody the romanticism of his day with the ruthless wit that has made him the undisputed master of social commentary.
"Two Beautifully-read Masterpieces"