Philosophy in the Boudoir received only three stars mainly because of the subject matter, which is typically what one would find in his stories. They...morePhilosophy in the Boudoir received only three stars mainly because of the subject matter, which is typically what one would find in his stories. They are licentious affairs, unrestrained by either convention or conscience. This book was too sade-istic for my liking. The characters' acts of cruetly and extreme barbarity, are taken to the farthest edges of societal tolerance. I would never recommend this work to women.
What I did like was de Sade's elegant style. His command of language is very rare to find in literature. He's concise but descriptive - too descriptive for some.
Anyone who knows the history of de Sade knows that he wasn't a man to hide behind appearances for the sake of keeping with social norms or etiquette, even for his own benefit. He unabashedly told it like it was, or more aptly, showed it like it was. He wasn't timid about painting people's true nature, one of debauchery and depravation.
Some have accused him of creating nothing more than high class pornography dressed up in ravishing vestments. You can be the judge.
Votaire's magnum opus, Candide, should be read by all. This story satirizes - in brilliant fashion - the optimists's view of the world. This work is s...moreVotaire's magnum opus, Candide, should be read by all. This story satirizes - in brilliant fashion - the optimists's view of the world. This work is short, but speaks authoritatively and persuasively against the naive notion of "the best of all possible worlds." Votaire's cutting wit and sharp irony dispels any idealistic tendancies one might have. The plot moves quickly from one abominable circumstance to another. Candide, the main character, sets out for the world, uncertain yet filled with hope. During his travels he slowly gains a better understanding of the world of man and grows disillusioned. He endures, and in some cases barely survives, monstrous ordeal after monstrous ordeal.
The greatest classics are those that each person can relate to the main character in a profound way, at least to some degree. We are all a young Candide, until that moment when the weight of experience tramples over our blind, and blinding, optimistic view of man. Through our experiences, many of them backbreaking and always unfair in our own eyes, we come to realize that "we must (also) cultivate our garden" as Candide had realized when he replied to Pangloss after his years of abject misery.
Candide is one of the greatest works of French Literature, and Candide is a good example of a man understanding and coming to terms with his place in the world. (less)