66th out of 119 books — 16 voters
The Portable Voltaire
Satirist, novelist, poet, dramatist, historian, moralist, critic, courtier, and correspondent, champion of reason and fanatical adversary of fanaticism, a darling of kings with the unfortunate habit of turning them into enemies, François Arouet de Voltaire is one of the few writers to have imposed his name on an entire epoch. It is entirely appropriate that the French Enli...more
Paperback, 569 pages
Published July 28th 1977 by Penguin Books
(first published 1949)
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I will be honest I have not read the whole dictionary or all the letters. The letters are just to pompous. Candide is a really great read. Voltaire is definately worth the time to read especiialy if you like Vonnegut, Dostoevsky, Sarte, or Camus.
In this selection of Voltaire's writings, three pieces in particular stand out. "Candide," the story of travels by a young man of that name, reads like a bad dream. Candide goes from one unfortunate situation to another in pursuit of his love. Each of his events is an opportunity for Voltaire to poke at the standard conventions of his day, particularly those espoused or manifested by religious leaders who are venal and corrupt, philosophers who are are thoughtless or foolish, and the powerful wh...more
Great allegories, and short stories. I particularly like "Zadig" as a fictional character in one of Voltaire's allegories. I stopped at three stars solely because I rushed through the last quarter of the book do to a slight loss of interest, and interruption by another book I had on my list, and was a bit desperate to read, hehe.
I had pulled this off the shelf with the intent of just rereading Candide,and found pulled back in to this book. Voltaire's wit and relevancy stand the test of time, though for anyone unfamiliar with his work, I wouldn't recommend sitting down and writing this compilation of essays and non-fiction in hte order presented. Start with Candide and Zadig and then work your way back up front to
the philosophic essays or correspondence.
the philosophic essays or correspondence.
I haven't read the entire works, simply the translation of Candide done by Richard Aldington. It proved to be an incredibly easy and accessible read. Not something I expected from such an old book. I must say I prefer the excitement and hilarity embodied in Leonard Bernstein's stage musical version of Candide, but the book has its moments.
I recommend Candide in particular, the satirical story of a group of travelers fleeing war, and finding more and more senseless suffering as they go, accompanied by someone who seems to have pondered the problem of evil and come to the conclusion that this must be the best conceivable world as a result.
Wittiness at its best! Voltaire could be categorized as the king of quick thinking and come backs. I enjoyed reading this book but my favorite section is the Philosophical Dictionary, which shows how clever he was and why people enjoyed his company at the court of Versailles.
This is a great window into the mind of Voltaire: his reflections on morality and mortality and art, his playful sarcasm, and his passion for reason, justice, and beauty. This could well be the perfect introduction to the enormously influential Enlightenment thinker.
edited by ben ray redman in 1949, this is a very good collection of voltaire's work: shorts, essays, letters and his philosophical dictionary. i have a few other publications of voltaire's work that aren't viking penguin but have not yet compared the translations. i generally find, though, that viking penguin translations aren't that bad.
In 1694, Age of Enlightenment leader Francois-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire, was born in Paris. Jesuit-educated, he began writing clever verses by the age of 12. He launched a lifelong, successful playwriting career in 1718, interrupted by imprisonment in the Bastille. Upon a second imprisonment, in which Francois adopted the pen name Voltaire, he was released after agreeing to move to London. T...moreMore about Voltaire...