Chris's Reviews > Candide: or, Optimism

Candide by Voltaire
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's review
Jul 01, 09

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2009
Read in July, 2009

Zounds! This book is wildly entertaining and I giggled all the way through Candide's awful adventures. Who would have thought that murder, rape, slavery, sexual exploitation, natural disaster, pillaging, theft, and every other oppression imaginable could be so funny?

Here's some pretty good insight from the old woman with one buttock:

"I have been a hundred times upon the point of killing myself, but still I was fond of life. This ridiculous weakness is, perhaps, one of the dangerous principles implanted in our nature. For what can be more absurd than to persist in carrying a burden of which we wish to be eased? to detest, and yet to strive to preserve our existence? In a word, to caress the serpent that devours us, and hug him close to our bosoms till he has gnawed into our hearts?"

We can try to remain optimistic and rationalize that the horrors we witness are all a part of some plan but the choice to keep on living is a truly irrational one given all of the evidence available for us to consider. We go on living against our better judgment and in spite of all of our misery. It is what we were born to do.

"'You lack faith,' said Candide.

'It is because,' said Martin, 'I have seen the world.'"
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message 1: by Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ben I thought you'd like this!

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