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Micromegas: And Other Stories

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  1,340 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Un des grands contes philosophiques de Voltaire, au programme de la classe de quatrième dans le cadre de l'étude de la critique sociale au XVIIIe siècle. Le texte intégral est suivi d'un dossier sur le thème du voyage et de l'altérité.
Paperback, 171 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Hippocrene Books (first published 1752)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,189)
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Azza
كتاب يستحق القراءة رغم لغته و اسلوبه الغير مفهوم أحياناً، هذا الكتاب هو عبارة عن إشكالية فلسفية في شكل قصة قصيرة، و من خلالها يعرض علينا الفيلسوف عدة أفكار أهمها أنه ليس ثمة حقيقة مطلقة

هي من القصص التي ستبقى في ذاكرتك و ستستحضر أفكارها بين كل حين و آخر
Vishal
A short story emulating Gullivers' Travels in the aspect that humans are shown from a perspective of other beings. In the story, a being from Sirius and another from Saturn -both colossal with respect to puny humans- happen to come to Earth and discover it to be inhabited by humans. They contrive some means to have conversations with humans, exchange philosophical ideas and get astonished at the capability of reason and intellect shown by such tiny creatures. But when they learn of human evils, ...more
Jacklyn
The philosophy in this first ever sci-fi story (1752) is extremely brilliant and witty! A remarkably short story full of allegories and riddles! I am always fascinated with stories about alien’s point of view on earth and humans. These are two of my favorite conversations from the book:

Alien to Man:
So Micromegas delivered these words: "I see more than ever that one must not judge anything by its apparent size. Oh God! you who have given intelligence to substance that appears contemptible. The in
...more
Pramod Pant
Inimitable Voltaire in humour and style. 'Mircromegas' is a creature from outer space who along with a Saturnian, visits earth and finds life here. They are both extremely large, Micromegas being much larger than the Saturnian. Their intellects and senses are proportionately complex. After finding humans, they enter into a dialogue with them.

The funny and instructive part is that the cocksure earthlings commit the error of being too sure of themselves as their frame of reference is limited and
...more
Fabian
A LETTER TO MRS. FLICK:

Dear Mrs. Flick:

I love reading long long books. This one is Gera's favorite and his worldview stems from it: a very short but meaty metaphysical poem. Well, it reads like a poem (since I think short stories are more related to them than to actual novels). Without a doubt the one effect it has on the reader is (because everyone that has the chance to read it will surely feel the same way:) dumbfoundment at the scale of things--especially our relationship to the enormous glo
...more
Saad Lotfey
أول قصص فولتير ، بالرغم من ان اسلوب الترجمة "نسخة مؤسسة هنداوي" صعب اوي ومش قادر افهم حاجات كتير بس القصص حلوة وبتوصل فكرة .

اربع قصص بتبدأ بقصة ميكروميجاس العملاق اللي بيتنفي من كوكبه بسبب شغبه التفكيري وينزل في جولة على زحل ياخد معاه فيلسوف ويجوا جولة في الارض واستمتع بحوار الفلاسفة اللي دار :D

القصص التانية مش زي الاولي بس بيتكلموا عن الحكمة والكمال والحب والشهوة

Jo Walton
Well, it has to be one of the earliest SF stories ever, and it's short and free and funny, so you have nothing to lose by reading it. It's a fairly slight satire, and and it was clearly an influence on (of all things) Doris Lessing's Shikasta.
Denis
This was a wonderful little tale. I decided that it may have been the earliest "true" science fiction story ever written (1752). The translation I listened to (from the archives of the public domain) read like it was written -for the most part- just prior to the "Campbell" Golden Age of SF, say the 1920's.

Giants from Sirius travel to Saturn and meet little beings. They, in turn, both travel to Earth and with the aid of a microscope -a relatively recent invention popularized and perfected by Gali
...more
Federiken Masters
Apr 19, 2014 Federiken Masters rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animúsculos
Recommended to Federiken by: Sirios y saturninos
Si disfruté de este libro aun siendo un animúsculo beligerante, insignificante, ignorante y quizás desalmado, no me imagino lo que me habría gustado si tuviera más o menos mil sentidos en lugar de más o menos cinco.
Alex
Mar 20, 2007 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Voltaire lovers
There's a reason Micromegas is not as well known as Candide. Although a funny story, it lacks the oomph of the latter. Candide was an attack an a very popular philosophy whereas Micromegas is a broader satire.

However the stories found in this collection are still very funny and Micromegas DOES remain one of the earliest forms of science fiction written in the west. The story is in the form of Swift's earlier and more popular Gulliver's Travels, but it manages to satirize even that novel.
Vikas Lather
Amazing book with exciting spin of events.

My fav. lines from the book:

"How long do you live?" said the Sirian.
"Oh! For a very short time. Alas! We only live through 500 revolutions around the sun," said the Saturnian.
(This translates to about 15,000 years, by our standards.)" replied the small man from Saturn

Erik Erickson
Smart and funny way to make a brief, but worthwhile, point about the nature of humanity and our overall inconsequential effect on even just our little solar system. I agree with the others that this is a great story for young adults.

Nadiah
According to the preface that came with my copy, this short tale is a satirical piece aimed at some colleague of Voltaire's. I caught none of the references - I couldn't even tell where they might be hidden - but that didn't seem to harm the story. I read it as an early (the earliest?) example of sci-fi, and as a bonus I got a really thought-provoking discussion of the nature of knowledge and our place in the universe. I'm also amazed that (a) something that old could still feel relatable and fr ...more
David
This was very short, but probably just the right length: Voltaire knew to "Leave them wanting more."

The problem with these free books is that the translation to the electronic format (I read this on my Kindle) does not always go smoothly. So the footnotes popped up in distracting and confusing spots, but I didn't care. The footnotes explain what Voltaire was making fun of, but I did not need to know all that to enjoy the giant creatures from space interacting with a group of humans who were as s
...more
Matt Holmes
A Socratic fist in a velvet glove.

A couple of incredibly friendly Cthulhus travel to Earth, almost obliterate mankind because they can't find them, then finds them, and they have an improbably-sized sit-down chat. The giants are then used as a vehicle to shittalk a handful of philosophers that Voltaire was not big into. Everyone ultimately quotes Op Ivy. "All I know is I don't know nothin'."

1752? Really? It's wittier, more accessible, and of greater clarity than most sci-fi you'll stumble into
...more
Jani
SF doesn't get much older than this. Well, in fact, it goes a few thousand years, but still Voltaire can be considered one of the forefathers of science fiction. Mikromegas has space traveling, is based in many ways to the scientific knowledge of its days. It is of course contemporary to its times in ways that has made it old in some sense; it is a critique of the society of its days. Or in this case, as common to its day, it is critique of the people of its days, like, for example, Dante before ...more
Borja
Si no eliminamos nuestros prejuicios, no podremos realizar una buena observación. Baste mencionar estas citas para entender por qué Micromegas se ha erigido como uno de mis relatos favoritos de toda la literatura.

Viajaron durante largo tiempo y no hallaron nada.
A lo lejos distinguieron una tenue luz, que era la Tierra...
Pero no pudieron encontrar la más mínima razón para sospechar
que nosotros y nuestros congéneres sobre este globo
tenemos el honor de existir.


—Sinceramente, lo que me hace pensar q
...more
James
Two of the tales in particular are memorable for any who love tales of science fiction. The most famous, "Micromegas" is a daring and heretical yarn,published in 1752. It is the arguably the original Science Fiction short story, and still one of the best. It brims with scientific fact, extrapolates sun-powered interstellar flight, alien civilizations, and the two moons of Mars, and, most importantly, makes us see ourselves in a new light, for Voltaire is to Man as Copernicus is to Earth. His pr ...more
Rupert Owen
My edition of Micromegas features several other stories as well, including The Travels of Scarmmentado, The Princess of Babylon, and The White and the Black. However, I will therefore restrict this brief review solely to Micromegas, although I recommend you hunt down the other short stories as they too are immensely pleasing. The question of size in Micromegas is almost immeasurable yet specifics of scale are given throughout the story, I found the enormity of Micromegas the Silurian and the Sat ...more
Warda Amy
........Mais il y a partout des gens de bon sens qui savent prendre leur parti et remercier l'auteur de la nature.

Alors Micromégas prononça ces paroles:"je vois plus que jamais qu'il ne faut juger de rien sur sa grandeur apparente. ô Dieu! qui avez donné une intelligence à des substances qui paraissent si méprisables, l'infiniment petit vous coûte aussi peu que l'infiniment grand; et, ils peuvent encore avoir un esprit supérieur à ceux de ces superbes animaux que j'ai vus dans le ciel, dont le p
...more
C J
I agree with many of the existing comments that this work ought to be a staple for children. It puts humanity in its place by ridiculing the notion of an anthropocentric universe.

Favourite quote: "...there was, unfortunately, a little animalcule in a square hat who interrupted all the other animalcule philosophers. He said that he knew the secret: that everything would be found in the Summa of Saint Thomas. He looked the two celestial inhabitants up and down. He argued that their people, their w
...more
Vincent Russo
A fictional account of beings of an enormous size (who also happened to be philosophers) originating from Saturn. The Saturn beings live for an exceptionally long time, but still lament on the finite life span:

"...to have lived an eternity or to have lived a day amounts to precisely the same thing."

These beings eventually travel to the very ordinary planet of Earth. On first inspection, it appeared that Earth was not inhabited by anything. Upon further inspection, one of the giant Saturn beings
...more
Darío
Ironía filosófica, crítica satírica y prosa fluida. ¡Cuánta perfección en un texto tan pequeño! Debo decir que me ha encantado, la ciencia ficción no podía salir de un texto mejor. ¿Soy el único que ha notado "Crónicas marcianas" y "El principito" en este texto? Ya sabemos qué leyeron Bradbury y Saint-Exupéry.
Isendor
If you're thinking about reading this one, you shouldn't even consider passing this. C'mon, it's so short.

I'm always amazed how easy it can be to laugh with satire from the 17-18th century, Moliere is my favourite. This one gave me a lot of thought, I couldn't agree more on Voltaire's point of view to war.
Lucas
Look at its shape again, how it is flat at the poles, how it clumsily revolves around the sun in a way that necessarily eliminates the climates of the poles? To tell the truth, what really makes me think it is uninhabited is that it seems that no one of good sense would want to stay."


A brief and surprisingly Douglas Adamsian 18th century tale about a young space traveler born on one of the planets that orbits the star named Sirius (why didn't I know Voltaire wrote a science-fiction parable!?). V
...more
Albert
Made me smile.

Voltaire knows best how to point out folly in man.

A great work on how even the best of the best is always seeking satisfaction and how their is no superior philosophy.

Voltaire's best insights are in this!
Jacob
I read this book in one sitting, while sitting in the stairwell at the graduation party of a girl that I had a crush on. I was sixteen and moody. Her family and friends and friends of family and family friends were there. I finished the book and went and talked to the girl for a minute. The girl is now a woman, I think she has a masters in English and lives in Arizona somewhere. I think she might be married. Some people have described this book as the first sci-fi novel. I don't know about that. ...more
Lorraine
the philosophy is brilliant. however (perhaps due to translation?) the prose wasn't that enjoyable. monsieur voltaire strikes me as first and foremost a philosopher, building stories on concepts instead of the other way around
Abdulaziz Almadi
3 books down 17 to go, though this one doesn't really count as a book it was a funny stab at philosophy and I wished it was a tad longer. #readmechallenge
Hal
This science fiction short story is uncannily accurate in some of the details and ideas it presents. Encapsulating much of what was modern philosophy at the time, Voltaire moves beyond and offers new insight through the use of beings much larger than ourselves, in every proportion. Proportionality is a major theme in this story, and is one of the principal points Voltaire drives home to illustrate how petty our struggles and battles can be. This story embodies what is characteristic of a vast ma ...more
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Complete works (1880) : https://archive.org/details/oeuvresco...
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 na
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More about Voltaire...
Candide Zadig Candide and Other Stories (World's Classics) Candide, Zadig and Selected Stories Philosophical Dictionary

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“my soul is the mirror of the universe, and my body is its frame” 25 likes
“I have been studying for forty years, which is to say forty wasted years; I teach others yet am ignorant of everything; this state of affairs fills my soul with so much humiliation and disgust that my life is intolerable. I was born in Time, I live in Time, and do not know what Time is. I find myself at a point between two eternities, as our wise men say, yet I have no conception of eternity. I am composed of matter, I think, but have never been able to discover what produces thought. I do not know whether or not I think with my head the same way that I hold things with my hands. Not only is the origin of my thought unknown to me, but the origin of my movements is equally hidden: I do not know why I exist. Yet every day people ask me questions on all these issues. I must give answers, yet have nothing worth saying, so I talk a great deal, and am confused and ashamed of myself afterwards for having spoken.” 8 likes
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