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Micromegas: And Other Stories

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,257 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
Paperback, 171 pages
Published February 25th 2015 by Hippocrene Books (first published May 25th 1752)
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(showing 1-30)
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Fabian
May 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A LETTER to a favorite TEACHER

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 enorm
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Brad
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2017-shelf
18th century SF. :) Gotta love it just for that.

Otherwise, my estimation of Voltaire continues to rise! I always loved his stuff before and while this doesn't have quite the social impact that something like Candide had, it certainly puts the rod to the church with its "blow your mind" idea of turning all us ants into something even more insignificant. :)

I see your enormous cathedral and raise you a thousand-league footprint. :)

Short and sweet and so scientific... these giants are giants of erud
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Raya Ka'abneh راية

"وقد ساءه في أعماق نفسه أن يرى في المتناهين في الصغر عجرفة متناهية في الكبر."

على الرغم من دراستي لأدب فولتير في الجامعة، إلّا أن هذا هو لقائي الأول برائد عصر التنوير الفرنسي، صاحب الأسلوب الساخر..

في هذه المجموعة القصصية الصغيرة الخفيفة، يناقش فولتير في القصة الأولى (ميكروميغاس) التّكبر والاستعلاء عند بني الإنسان، فهم يظنون أنهم محور هذا العالم، ويعرفون كل ما هبّ ودبّ فيهم، وينسون أنهم كائنات صغيرة جداً يعيشون على كرة صغيرة سابحة في كون مترامي الأطراف! فيالغرور بني الإنسان!

القصة الثانية (ممنون) ي
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Veronique
3.5

"I see more than ever that one must not judge anything by its apparent size."

A being from a planet circling the star Sirius visits the Earth with his companion from the planet Saturn, both of gargantuan size. This scifi short story deals with perception and point of view, but also allowed the philosopher Voltaire to comment on his contemporary society.

Amazing to think it was written so long ago.
Ana Rînceanu
original read: 2006

Micromégas, a giant exiled for trying to write scientific book examining the insects on his planet, travels the universe and befriends the secretary of the Academy of Saturn. They bond over their love of philosophy and examination of the natural world.

Eventually, they arrive on Earth, where they examine humans to determine whether they have any intelligence or spirit. The humans explain the philosophies of Aristotle, Descartes, Malebranche, Leibniz and Locke to the travelers,
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Emad Attili
Jul 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
description
هذا هو الكتاب الثاني الذي أقرؤه لفولتير.
هو بالتأكيد ليس بجودة كانديد. ولكنه يستحق القراءة على أية حال.

ما يميزه هو مقدار الحكمة الجيّد فيه. وأيضاً يتميز ببساطة هذه الحكم وعمقها. كما ان فولتير اعتمد فيه أسلوباً جميلاً وهو تلخيص الحكمة الكليّة في نهاية كل قصة بسطر أو سطرين.

description

كتاب خفيف وجميل.
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NoOr Moheb
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
إنهَ الحكمة ! الحكمة الخالصة التي تبحثُ عنا ونتجاهلها ..
القصص كانت مليئة بالحكم التي تعلمُنا كيفية الحياة ، إن الوقت لإيجاد نفسنا التائهة ييدأ بقصة عادية ولكن سرعان ماتتحول هذه القصة إلى لغز ومن لغز إلى ترميز ومن ترميز إلى تغيير أو تبلد!
Azza
Aug 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
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
Vaishali
The meeting of two advanced extraterrestrials ... yep, sci-fi by Voltaire.
And like all futuristic books, a commentary on Earthlings.

Some neat quotes :
---------------
"Hardly do we begin to learn experience when death arrives. Personally, I dare not make plans. I am a droplet in an immense ocean. I am ashamed, especially before you, of how ridiculously I figure in this world.”

"They circumnavigated the globe in 36 hours. Truthfully, the sun or Earth makes that voyage in a day, but doing so is easy
...more
sabisteb
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Voltaire ist nicht gerade ein Name, den man normalerweise mit Science-Fiction in Verbindung bringen würde. Er selber hätte sich sicherlich auch nicht als Sci-Fi Autor beschrieben. Nun ist es aber so, dass das decodieren eines Textes nicht vom Text oder vom Autor bestimmt wird und von den Erfahrungen des Lesers abhängt, der einen Text durchaus anders als intendiert interpretieren kann.
Ich lese Sci-Fi und keine philosphischen Texte, es ist also nur natürlich, dass ich Voltaires Micromegas als früh
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Mateo R.
Hay un fragmento que realmente me recuerda a la frase del pale blue dot de Carl Sagan (¿quizás se inspiró en esto?): "No quiero zaherir aquí la vanidad de ninguno; pero ruego á la gente vanagloriosa que paren la consideracion en este lugar, y contemplen que suponiendo la estatura ordinaria de un hombre de cinco piés de rey, no hacemos mas bulto en la tierra que el que en una bola de diez piés de circunferencia hiciera un animal que tuviese un seiscientos mil avos de pulgada de alto. Figurémonos ...more
فادي أحمد
Oct 13, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
كالعادة من المستحيل أن تقرأ قصص لفولتير لا يزدري فيها الأديان والنساء على حدِّ سواء ما أشعُرهُ أثناء قراءة فولتير هو سخطه على المعتقدات الدينية رغم إيمانه بحسب ما أعتقد بوجود خالق. ففولتير في قصة ميكرو ميغاس يخترع شخصية خيالية جاءت من نجم الشعرى ونزلت في زحل وهو حكيم طرد من البلاط الشعرى لأبحاث علمية تشريحية قام بها. والتقى بالآخر في زجل وقررا السفر في العوالم فوصلوا الأرض. ولضخامة جثتيهما حيث يبلغ طول ميكروميغاس وحده 120 ألف قدم لم يستطيعا اكتشاف الحياة على كوكب الأرض لولا أنّ سفينة تحمل مجموعة ...more
Denis
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: softcover
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
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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.
Jacklyn
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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Vishal
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: satire
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
Air Knight
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
A very short story where Voltaire uses aliens, math, the scale of the universe and our human faults as a device to let the readers know how we are nothing more than a "pale blue dot" and how ridiculous is to feel entitled to declare we're the center of everything or that we have the ultimate truth when we're so insignificant in the universe.

Apparently described as an early science fiction story, but Voltaire doesn't really care much about that, the size comparison only serves to compare the hum
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Pramod Pant
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sanjay Varma
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stories
A great work of imagination, about a giant being from the star Sirius who travels the Galaxy, learning about other cultures. He picks up a Saturnian along the way and they head to earth, where they are amazed that organisms as small as humans can possess intelligence and spirit.

It anticipates the way that Gulliver's Travels uses the Brobdignagians' giant size to represent their higher moral status. It also must have inspired Olaf Stapledon's "Last and First Men" in the way it hints at markedly m
...more
Alex
Mar 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

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

miram
Jun 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
كُتيب ذو طابع فلسفي بحت لفولتار
رغم قلة عدد صفحاته "35" و لغته المعقدة أحيانا إلى أنه من الكتب التي لا يجب تفويتها
الأمر لا يقتصر على مجرد سرد لروايات عبثية ( خاصة الأولى ) بل يتعدى ذلك إلى إضفاء لمسة فلسفية ، تجعل من مضمون الرواية او القصة عميق
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.

Feather Mista
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animúsculos
Recommended to Feather 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.
Yasmeen
Okay I don't really have much to say. The stories are sharp, cynical and funny, as Voltaire should be. Overall enjoyable with a couple of actually thought-provoking parts, though I didn't find any of the stories particularly remarkable.
Lola White

اربع قصص قصيرة تتناول اطباع الإنسان بطريقة ساخرة. القصص فيها حكم كثيرة لكن بالنسبة لي كانت مضحكة خاصة القصة ميكروميغاس و المبالغة في وصف سكّان الكواكب الأخرى.
YouKai Shinigami
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Todos los debates parecen cerrarse en no menos de lo aquí escrito.
Guiños que aseguran alguna diversión, ironía y la longitud justa.
No esperaba que me gustara tanto.
Shyamal
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
A short science fiction story. Can be read within 30 minutes.
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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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“my soul is the mirror of the universe, and my body is its frame” 30 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.” 17 likes
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