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In this splendid new translation of Voltaireâs satiric masterpiece, all the celebrated wit, irony, and trenchant social commentary of one of the great works of the Enlightenment is restored and refreshed.
Voltaire may have cast a jaundiced eye on eighteenth-century Europeâa place that was definitely not the âbest of all possible worlds.â But amid its decadent society, despotic rulers, civil and religious wars, and other ills, Voltaire found a mother lode of comic material. And this is why Peter Constantineâs thoughtful translation is such a pleasure, presenting all the bookâs subtlety and ribald joys precisely as Voltaire had intended.
The globe-trotting misadventures of the youthful Candide; his tutor, Dr. Pangloss; Martin, and the exceptionally trouble-prone object of Candideâs affections, CunÃ©gonde, as they brave exile, destitution, cannibals, and numerous deprivation, provoke both belly laughs and deep contemplation about the roles of hope and suffering in human life.
The transformation of Candideâs outlook from panglossian optimism to realism neatly lays out Voltaireâs philosophyâthat even in Utopia, life is less about happiness than survivalâbut not before providing us with one of literatureâs great and rare pleasures.
From the Hardcover edition.