843.5: Voltaire. Candide, or Optimism. Translated by John Butt. New York: Penguin. 144 pp. ISBN 0-14-044004-6.
- 800: Literature
- 840: Literatures of French and related languages
- 843: French fiction
- 843.5: 1715-1789
If you’re looking for one of the most satirical, rollicking, odd, philosophical, and whimsical novels in history, then you needn’t go any further than Voltaire’s Candide. Voltaire’s canonical 1759 work examines the conflict between optimism and realism, between Old World and New World experiences, and between upper class and lower class conditions. But even these dichotomies are too simple for this work. The title character’s adventures begin when he kisses Cunegonde, a relative of the Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh and is expelled from the estate with his mentor Pangloss. And then the real fun starts.