In this splendid new translation of Voltaire s satiric masterpiece, all the celebrated wit, irony, and trenchant social commentary of one of the great works of the Enlightenment is restored and refreshed.
Voltaire may have cast a jaundiced eye on eighteenth-century Europe a place that was definitely "not" the best of all possible worlds. But amid its decadent society, despotic rulers, civil and religious wars, and other ills, Voltaire found a mother lode of comic material. And this is why Peter Constantine s thoughtful translation is such a pleasure, presenting all the book s subtlety and ribald joys precisely as Voltaire had intended.
The globe-trotting misadventures of the youthful Candide; his tutor, Dr. Pangloss; Martin, and the exceptionally trouble-prone object of Candide s affections, Cunegonde, as they brave exile, destitution, cannibals, and numerous deprivation, provoke both belly laughs and deep contemplation about the roles of hope and suffering in human life.
The transformation of Candide s outlook from panglossian optimism to realism neatly lays out Voltaire s philosophy that even in Utopia, life is less about happiness than survival but not before providing us with one of literature s great and rare pleasures.
"From the Hardcover edition.""