Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Tag: French literature

843: Candide by Voltaire

DDC_843

843.5: Voltaire. Candide, or Optimism. Translated by John Butt. New York: Penguin. 144 pp. ISBN 0-14-044004-6.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 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.

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840: French Literature Before 1800 by Bradley and Michell

840.8: Michell, Robert Bell and Robert Foster Bradley, eds. French Literature Before 1800. New York: F. S. Crofts & Co., 1936. 493 pp.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 800: Literature
  • 840: French literature
  • 840.8: Collection of literary texts of French literature in more than one form

The history of French literature can trace its roots back to the Chansons de Roland about the brave and chivalrous life of Roland, knight of the court of Charlemagne. From there, poetry, drama, and novels evolved to showcase the philosophy of their respective eras. Classical forms gave way to more modern and progressive ways for expressing the human condition. Robert Michell and Robert Bradley’s French Literature Before 1800 is a volume intended to give the reader a major overview of the lives, techniques, themes, and philosophies of those who shaped the landscape of French up to the 19th century.

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