Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) (1694—1778) was one of the key thinkers of the European Enlightenment. Of his many works, Candide remains the most popular.
Peter Constantine was awarded the 1998 PEN Translation Award for Six Early Stories by Thomas Mann and the 1999 National Translation Award for The Undiscovered Chekhov: Forty-three New Stories. Widely acclaimed for his recent translation of the complete works of Isaac Babel, he also translated Gogols Taras Bulba and Tolstoys The Cossacks for the Modern Library. His translations of fiction and poetry have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Harpers, and Paris Review. He lives in New York City.
Christina Hill, November 28, 2011 (view all comments by Christina Hill)
If you've never read Candide, you don't know what you're missing and I feel sorry for you. For a guy who died 3 centuries ago, I feel like Voltaire really 'gets it'. He was counter-culture before it was cool.
I love re-reading this book, because there is always something fresh and funny about it. The characters are simultaneously two dimensional and incredibly real, which makes for fun imagery as you read. But the best part about Candide is the conversation it creates between those of us who have taken the plunge. The philosophy is striking and infinitely relevant. You can break it down, if you'd like, and be Team Martin or Team Pangloss. This is a really old book that never gets old.
And if you don't like the story, this edition at least has some dirty illustrations.
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