Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. Immediately after its secretive publication, the book was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition, and intellectual hostility hidden under a thin veil of naïveté. However, with its sharp wit and insightful portrayal of the human condition, the novel has since inspired many later authors and artists to mimic and adapt it. Today, Candide is considered as Voltaire's magnum opus and is often listed as part of the Western canon. It is among the most frequently taught works of French literature. The British poet and literary critic Martin Seymour-Smith listed Candide as one of the 100 most influential books ever written.
A satirical and parodic precursor of Candide, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726) is one of Candide's closest literary relatives. This satire tells the story of "a gullible ingenue", Gulliver, who (like Candide) travels to several "remote nations" and is hardened by the many misfortunes which befall him. As evidenced by similarities between the two books, Voltaire probably drew upon Gulliver's Travels for inspiration while writing Candide. Other probable sources of inspiration for Candide are Télémaque (1699) by François Fénelon and Cosmopolite (1753) by Louis-Charles Fougeret de Monbron. Candide's parody of the Bildungsroman is probably based on Télémaque, which includes the prototypical parody of the tutor on whom Pangloss may have been partly based. Likewise, Monbron's protagonist undergoes a disillusioning series of travels similar to those of Candide.
This critique of Voltaire's seems to be directed almost exclusively at Leibnizian optimism. Candide does not ridicule Voltaire's contemporary Alexander Pope, a later optimist of slightly different convictions. Candide does not discuss Pope's optimistic principle that "all is right", but Leibniz's that states, "this is the best of all possible worlds". However subtle the difference between the two, Candide is unambiguous as to which is its subject. Some critics conjecture that Voltaire meant to spare Pope this ridicule out of respect, although Voltaire's Poème may have been written as a more direct response to Pope's theories. This work is similar to Candide in subject matter, but very different from it in style: the Poème embodies a more serious philosophical argument than Candide.
Despite much official indictment, soon after its publication, Candide's irreverent prose was being quoted. "Let us eat a Jesuit", for instance, became a popular phrase for its reference to a humorous passage in Candide. By the end of February 1759, the Grand Council of Geneva and the administrators of Paris had banned Candide. Candide nevertheless succeeded in selling twenty thousand to thirty thousand copies by the end of the year in over twenty editions, making it a best seller. The Duke de La Vallière speculated near the end of January 1759 that Candide might have been the fastest-selling book ever. In 1762, Candide was listed in the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, the Roman Catholic Church's list of prohibited books.
It was published early in 1759 as Candide, ou l'optimisme, purportedly "translated from the German of Dr. Ralph, with additions found in the pocket of the Doctor when he died at Minden." The Great Council of Geneva almost at once (March 5) ordered it to be burned. Of course Voltaire denied his authorship: "people must have lost their senses," he wrote to a friendly pastor in Geneva, "to attribute to me that pack of nonsense. I have, thank God, better occupations." But France was unanimous: no other man could have written Candide. Here was that deceptively simple, smoothly flowing, lightly prancing, impishly ironic prose that only he could write; here and there a little obscenity, a little scatology; everywhere a playful, darting, lethal irreverence; if the style is the man, this had to be Voltaire.
Mary Shelley's chilling portrait of a scientist obsessed with creating life (whose eventual success comes at too great a cost) was among the first works of science fiction ever produced. Its potent allegorical power, compelling ethical and philosophical themes, and its sheer creepiness have ensured it remains one of the most enduring and influential as well.
We present here a small selection of some of the more respected and well known lists. As epubBooks contains only Public Domain titles, and books in which the author has given their consent, the emphaisis for the collections presented here are with those that contain a large selection of titles that we can include from our own collection.
From author Robert Ballard, the famed explorer who discovered the Titanic wreckage in 1985, and illustrator Ken Marschall who has worked on many books based on the Titanic in the past, comes this larger than life account about one of the most poignant moments in maritime history.
I've recommended these books to many, and I won't hesitate to continue. Compilers, interpretersand programming languages may seem esoteric, but if you look closely, they'reeverywhere. The Monkey language is my go-to project whenever I learn a new programming language. There's no better way to take a new language through itspaces!"
"I was completely hooked by your book on writing an interpreter and read it in 3 days. It might be the best book on programming I've ever read, and I read a lot of them. I love how all of the concepts are explained simply through very readable code and I love how the product turned out so real and useful. I wish more books were written in this style and I look forward to diving into the sequel!"
"This is a very polished pair of books that together give a steady path to follow for learning some of the real techniques that are used to implement programming languages. They're both well above average for their depth, technical clarity, and accessibility. I've been recommending them to everyone I work with who wants to get involved in compilers."
We decided to limit all authors to one title. All selections are related to mainland China, with exceptions: We considered some older Taiwanese writers who were active at a time before a distinct Taiwanese literary tradition had emerged, and Hong Kong writer Jin Yong, whose martial arts epics have had tremendous influence on Chinese readers everywhere. In the end, this is what we came up with: A list with books by journalists and historians, migrant poets and politicians, Nobel Prize winners (three, in fact) and dissidents; on topics including sex, sorcery, food, debt, Chinese medicine, gay life, and footbinding; across all eras, from the 14th century (Three Kingdoms) to 2019 (the books that come in at Nos. 36 and 39); featuring canonical histories, short story collections, travelogues, memoirs, treatises, and more.
Robinson Crusoe by English author Daniel Defoe was first published in 1719 and has since become one of the most famous and popular books in the English language. The book is written as the autobiographical narrative of Robinson Crusoe (birth name Kreutznaer), a young man who, against the wishes of his parents, sets out for a life on the seas. After two times where the voyage ends in disaster (shipwreck, and getting captured by pirates), he sets sail on an expedition to enslave people from Africa, but ends up being shipwrecked on an island off the coast of South America. With his dog and two cats, who survived the shipwreck with him, he is forced to come to terms with his predicament and find ways to survive on the island. As time goes on, he manages to grow crops, and raise goats, which makes his life somewhat better there. Having found a copy of the Bible in a ship that was washed upon the shore, he becomes more religious - memorising verses and using it to find solace in times of despair. After many many years, Crusoe discovers he is not alone on the island after all - native cannibals sometimes visit the island to kill and eat their prisoners. When one manages to escape, Crusoe helps him, names him Friday (after the day of the week he rescued him), and together, they carry on with their island adventure.
Kathy Edens is a blogger, a ghost writer, and content master who loves writing about anything and everything. Check out her books: The Novel-Writing Training Plan: 17 Steps to Get Your Ideas in Shape for the Marathon of Writing and Creating Legends: How to Craft Characters Readers Adore... or Despise.
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