Candide
Overview
Candide, ou l'Optimisme (icon; French: kɑ̃did) is a French satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 first published in 1759 by Voltaire
Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet , better known by the pen name Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, free trade and separation of church and state...

, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

. The novella
Novella
A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative usually longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000...

 has been widely translated, with English versions titled Candide: or, All for the Best (1759); Candide: or, The Optimist (1762); and Candide: or, Optimism (1947). It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic
Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

 paradise
Paradise
Paradise is a place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless. It is conceptually a counter-image of the miseries of human civilization, and in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment, but it is not necessarily a land of luxury and...

 and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply Optimism) by his mentor, Pangloss.
Quotations

Les malheurs particuliers font le bien général, de sorte que plus il y a de malheurs particuliers, et plus tout est bien.

Private misfortunes are public benefits; so that the more private misfortunes there are, the greater is the general good.

Si c’est ici le meilleur des mondes possibles, que sont donc les autres?

If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others?

Si nous ne trouvons pas des choses agréables, nous trouverons du moins des choses nouvelles.

If we do not meet with agreeable things, we shall at least meet with something new.

Qu’est-ce qu’optimisme? disait Cacambo. — Hélas! dit Candide, c’est la rage de soutenir que tout est bien quand on est mal.

"Optimism," said Cacambo, "what is that?""Alas!" replied Candide, "it is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst."

Dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres.

In this country it is found requisite, now and then, to put an admiral to death, in order to encourage the others to fight.

Les sots admirent tout dans un auteur estimé. Je ne lis que pour moi; je n'aime que ce qui est à mon usage.

Ignorant readers are apt to judge a writer by his reputation. For my part, I read only to please myself. I like nothing but what makes for my purpose.

Encyclopedia
Candide, ou l'Optimisme (icon; French: kɑ̃did) is a French satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 first published in 1759 by Voltaire
Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet , better known by the pen name Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, free trade and separation of church and state...

, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

. The novella
Novella
A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative usually longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000...

 has been widely translated, with English versions titled Candide: or, All for the Best (1759); Candide: or, The Optimist (1762); and Candide: or, Optimism (1947). It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic
Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

 paradise
Paradise
Paradise is a place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless. It is conceptually a counter-image of the miseries of human civilization, and in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment, but it is not necessarily a land of luxury and...

 and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply Optimism) by his mentor, Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating an enigmatic precept, "we must cultivate our garden", in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds
Best of all possible worlds
The phrase "the best of all possible worlds" was coined by the German polymath Gottfried Leibniz in his 1710 work Essais de Théodicée sur la bonté de Dieu, la liberté de l'homme et l'origine du mal...

".

Candide is characterised by its sarcastic tone, as well as by its erratic, fantastical and fast-moving plot. A picaresque novel
Picaresque novel
The picaresque novel is a popular sub-genre of prose fiction which is usually satirical and depicts, in realistic and often humorous detail, the adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his wits in a corrupt society...

 with a story similar to that of a more serious bildungsroman
Bildungsroman
In literary criticism, bildungsroman or coming-of-age story is a literary genre which focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood , and in which character change is thus extremely important...

, it parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on historical happenings, such as the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake
1755 Lisbon earthquake
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake, was a megathrust earthquake that took place on Saturday 1 November 1755, at around 9:40 in the morning. The earthquake was followed by fires and a tsunami, which almost totally destroyed Lisbon in the Kingdom of Portugal, and...

. As philosophers of Voltaire's day contended with the problem of evil
Problem of evil
In the philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is the question of how to explain evil if there exists a deity that is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient . Some philosophers have claimed that the existences of such a god and of evil are logically incompatible or unlikely...

, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

; most conspicuously, he assaults Leibniz and his optimism.

As expected by Voltaire, Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. Immediately after its secretive publication, the book was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition and intellectual hostility hidden under a thin veil of naïveté. However, with its sharp wit and insightful portrayal of the human condition, the novel has since inspired many later authors and artists to mimic and adapt it; most notably, Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim...

 composed the music for the 1956 comic operetta
Candide (operetta)
Candide is an operetta with music composed by Leonard Bernstein, based on the novella of the same name by Voltaire. The operetta was first performed in 1956 with a libretto by Lillian Hellman; but since 1974 it has been generally performed with a book by Hugh Wheeler which is more faithful to...

 adapted from the novel. The original 1956 libretto
Libretto
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

 of Candide, written by Lillian Hellman
Lillian Hellman
Lillian Florence "Lily" Hellman was an American playwright, linked throughout her life with many left-wing causes...

, was an intensely bitter and somewhat loose adaptation of Voltaire, but Hugh Wheeler
Hugh Wheeler
Hugh Callingham Wheeler was an English-born playwright, screenwriter, librettist, poet, and translator. He resided in the United States from 1934 until his death and became a naturalized citizen in 1942. He had attended London University.Under the noms de plume Patrick Quentin, Q...

's new libretto, first produced in 1974, was a far more faithful adaptation of the novella, and the one which is still in use today. Today, Candide is recognised as Voltaire's magnum opus
Magnum opus
Magnum opus , from the Latin meaning "great work", refers to the largest, and perhaps the best, greatest, most popular, or most renowned achievement of a writer, artist, or composer.-Related terms:Sometimes the term magnum opus is used to refer to simply "a great work" rather than "the...

and is often listed as part of the Western canon
Western canon
The term Western canon denotes a canon of books and, more broadly, music and art that have been the most important and influential in shaping Western culture. As such, it includes the "greatest works of artistic merit." Such a canon is important to the theory of educational perennialism and the...

; it is probably taught more than any other work of French literature
French literature
French literature is, generally speaking, literature written in the French language, particularly by citizens of France; it may also refer to literature written by people living in France who speak traditional languages of France other than French. Literature written in French language, by citizens...

.

Historical and literary background

A number of deadly historical events inspired Voltaire to write Candide, most notably the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake
1755 Lisbon earthquake
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake, was a megathrust earthquake that took place on Saturday 1 November 1755, at around 9:40 in the morning. The earthquake was followed by fires and a tsunami, which almost totally destroyed Lisbon in the Kingdom of Portugal, and...

: both are frequently referred to in the book and are cited by scholars as reasons for its composition. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

, and resulting fires of All Saints' Day, had a strong influence on theologians of the day and on Voltaire, who was himself disillusioned by them. The earthquake had an especially large effect on the contemporary doctrine of optimism, a philosophical system which implies that such events should not occur. Optimism is founded on the theodicy
Theodicy
Theodicy is a theological and philosophical study which attempts to prove God's intrinsic or foundational nature of omnibenevolence , omniscience , and omnipotence . Theodicy is usually concerned with the God of the Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, due to the relevant...

 of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz that says all is for the best because God is a benevolent deity. This concept is often put into the form, "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds" (Fr. "Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes"). Philosophers had trouble fitting the horrors of this earthquake into the optimist world view
World view
A comprehensive world view is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society's knowledge and point-of-view, including natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and...

.

Voltaire actively rejected Leibnizian optimism after the natural disaster, convinced that if this were the best possible world, it should surely be better than it is. In both Candide and Poème sur le désastre de Lisbonne
Poème sur le désastre de Lisbonne
The Poème sur le désastre de Lisbonne was a poem in French composed by Voltaire, regarding the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. It is widely regarded as an introduction to Voltaire's later acclaimed work Candide...

("Poem on the Lisbon Disaster"), Voltaire attacks this optimist belief. He makes use of the Lisbon earthquake in both Candide and his Poème to argue this point, sarcastically describing the catastrophe as one of the most horrible disasters "in the best of all possible worlds". Immediately after the earthquake, unreliable rumours circulated around Europe, sometimes overestimating the severity of the event. Ira Wade, a noted expert on Voltaire and Candide, has analysed which sources Voltaire might have referenced in learning of the event. Wade speculates that Voltaire's primary source for information on the Lisbon earthquake was the 1755 work Relation historique du Tremblement de Terre survenu à Lisbonne by Ange Goudar.

Apart from such events, contemporaneous stereotypes of the German personality may have been a source of inspiration for the text, as they were for Simplicius Simplicissimus, a 1669 satirical picaresque novel written by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen
Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen
Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen was a German author.-Biography:Grimmelshausen was born at Gelnhausen. At the age of ten he was kidnapped by Hessian soldiery, and in their midst tasted the adventures of military life in the Thirty Years' War...

 and inspired by the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

. The protagonist of this novel, who was supposed to embody stereotypically German characteristics, is quite similar to the protagonist of Candide. These stereotypes, according to Voltaire biographer Alfred Owen Aldridge, include "extreme credulousness or sentimental simplicity", two of Candide's, and Simplicius's, defining qualities. Aldridge writes, "Since Voltaire admitted familiarity with fifteenth-century German authors who used a bold and buffoonish style, it is quite possible that he knew Simplicissimus as well."

A satirical and parodic precursor of Candide, Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...

's Gulliver's Travels
Gulliver's Travels
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels , is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of...

(1726) is one of Candide's closest literary relatives. This satire tells the story of "a gullible ingenue", Gulliver, who (like Candide) travels to several "remote nations" and is hardened by the many misfortunes which befall him. As evidenced by similarities between the two books, Voltaire probably drew upon Gulliver's Travels for inspiration while writing Candide. Other probable sources of inspiration for Candide are Télémaque
Les Aventures de Télémaque
Les aventures de Télémaque was a didactic French novel by Fénelon, Archbishop of Cambrai and tutor to the seven-year-old Duc de Bourgogne . It was published anonymously in 1699 and reissued in 1717 by his family...

(1699) by François Fénelon
François Fénelon
François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon, more commonly known as François Fénelon , was a French Roman Catholic archbishop, theologian, poet and writer...

 and Cosmopolite (1753) by Louis-Charles Fougeret de Monbron. Candide's parody of the bildungsroman is probably based on Télémaque, which includes the prototypical parody of the sagacious tutor on whom Pangloss may have been partly based. Likewise, Monbron's protagonist undergoes a disillusioning series of travels similar to those of Candide.

Creation

Born François-Marie Arouet, Voltaire (1694–1778), by the time of the Lisbon earthquake, was already a well-established author, known for his satirical wit. He had been made a member of the Académie Française
Académie française
L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

 in 1746. He was a deist, a strong proponent of religious freedom, and a critic of what he saw to be tyrannical governments. Candide became part of his large, diverse body of philosophical, political and artistic works expressing these views. More specifically, it was a model for the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century novels called the "contes philosophiques
Philosophical novel
Philosophical fiction refers to works of fiction in which a significant proportion of the work is devoted to a discussion of the sort of questions normally addressed in discursive philosophy. These might include the function and role of society, the purpose of life, ethics or morals, the role of...

". This genre, of which Voltaire was one of the founders, included previous works of his such as Zadig
Zadig
Zadig ou la Destinée, is a famous novel and work of philosophical fiction written by Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia...

and Micromegas
Micromégas
"Micromégas" is a short story by the French philosopher and satirist Voltaire. It is a significant development in the history of literature because it originates ideas which helped create the genre of science fiction....

.

It is unknown exactly when Voltaire wrote Candide, but scholars estimate that it was primarily composed in late 1758 and begun as early as 1757: Voltaire is believed to have written a portion of it while at his house in Ferney and also while visiting Charles Théodore
Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria
Charles Theodore, Prince-Elector, Count Palatine and Duke of Bavaria reigned as Prince-Elector and Count palatine from 1742, as Duke of Jülich and Berg from 1742 and also as Prince-Elector and Duke of Bavaria from 1777, until his death...

, the Elector-Palatinate at Schwetzingen
Schwetzingen
Schwetzingen is a German town situated in the northwest of Baden-Württemberg, around southwest of Heidelberg and southeast of Mannheim.Schwetzingen is one of the 5 biggest cities of the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis district and it is a medium-sized centre including the cities and municipalities of...

, for three weeks in the summer of 1758. Despite solid evidence for these claims, a popular legend persists that Voltaire wrote Candide in three days. This idea is probably based on a misreading of the 1885 work La Vie intime de Voltaire aux Délices et à Ferney by Lucien Perey (real name: Clara Adèle Luce Herpin) and Gaston Maugras. The evidence indicates strongly that Voltaire did not rush nor improvise Candide, but worked on it for a significant period of time, even a whole year. Candide is mature and carefully developed, not impromptu, as the intentionally choppy plot and the aforementioned myth suggest.
There is only one extant manuscript of Candide that was written before the work's 1759 publication; it was discovered in 1956 by Wade and since named the La Vallière Manuscript. It is believed to have been sent, chapter by chapter, by Voltaire to the Duke and Duchess La Vallière in the autumn of 1758. The manuscript was sold to the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal in the late eighteenth century, where it remained undiscovered for almost two hundred years. The La Vallière Manuscript, the most original and authentic of all surviving copies of Candide, was probably dictated by Voltaire to his secretary, Wagnière, then edited directly. In addition to this manuscript, there is believed to have been another, one copied by Wagnière for the Elector Charles-Théodore, who hosted Voltaire during the summer of 1758. The existence of this copy was first postulated by Norman L. Torrey in 1929. If it exists, it remains undiscovered.
Voltaire published Candide simultaneously in five countries no later than 15 January 1759, although the exact date is uncertain. Seventeen versions of Candide from 1759, in the original French, are known today, and there has been great controversy over which is the earliest. More versions were published in other languages: Candide was translated once into Italian and thrice into English that same year. The complicated science of calculating the relative publication dates of all of the versions of Candide is described at length in Wade's article "The First Edition of Candide: A Problem of Identification". The publication process was extremely secretive, probably the "most clandestine work of the century", because of the book's obviously illicit and irreverent content. The greatest number of copies of Candide were published concurrently in Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 by Cramer
Cramer brothers
The Cramer brothers, Gabriel and Philibert Cramer, were 18th century publishers from Geneva and the official publishers of Voltaire. Their company, published in a wide range of cities throughout Europe. The brothers were also active in high society.-References:...

, in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 by Marc-Michel Rey
Marc-Michel Rey
Marc-Michel Rey was an influential publisher in the United Provinces, who published many of the works of the French Philosophes, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau....

, in London by Jean Nourse, and in Paris by Lambert.

Candide underwent one major revision after its initial publication, in addition to some minor ones. In 1761, a version of Candide was published that included, along with several minor changes, a major addition by Voltaire to the twenty-second chapter, a section that had been thought weak by the Duke of Vallière. The English title of this edition was Candide, or Optimism. Translated from the German of Dr. Ralph. With the additions found in the Doctor's pocket when he died at Minden, in the Year of Grace 1759. The last edition of Candide authorised by Voltaire was the one included in Cramer's 1775 compilation, l'éditions encadrées, meaning "supervised editions".
Voltaire strongly opposed the inclusion of illustrations in his works, as he stated in a 1778 letter to writer and publisher Charles Joseph Panckoucke:
Despite this protest, two sets of illustrations for Candide were produced by French artist Jean-Michel Moreau le Jeune
Jean-Michel Moreau le Jeune
Jean-Michel Moreau , also called Moreau le Jeune , was a French draughtsman, illustrator and engraver.Moreau le Jeune, as he is usually called, was born in Paris...

. The first version was done, at Moreau's own expense, in 1787 and included in Kehl's publication of that year, Oeuvres Complètes de Voltaire. Four images were drawn by Moreau for this edition and were engraved by Pierre-Charles Baquoy. The second version, in 1803, consisted of seven drawings by Moreau which were transposed by multiple engravers. Twentieth-century modern artist Paul Klee
Paul Klee
Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, and is considered both a German and a Swiss painter. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. He was, as well, a student of orientalism...

 relates it was while reading Candide that he discovered his own artistic style. Klee illustrated the work, and his drawings were published in a 1920 version edited by Kurt Wolff
Kurt Wolff
Kurt Wolff was a German publisher, editor, writer and journalist.Wolff was born in Bonn, Rhenish Prussia. Together with Ernst Rowohlt he began to work in publishing in Leipzig in 1908. He was the first to promote and publish the authors Franz Kafka and Franz Werfel...

.

Main characters

  • Candide: The title character. Illegitimate son of the sister of the baron of Thunder-ten-Tronckh. In love with Cunégonde.
  • Cunégonde
    Cunégonde
    Cunégonde is a fictional character in Voltaire's novel Candide. She is the title character's aristocratic cousin. Her name is probably derived from Cunigunde of Luxemburg....

    : The daughter of the baron of Thunder-ten-Tronckh. In love with Candide.
  • Pangloss: The royal educator of the court of the baron. Described as "the greatest philosopher of the Holy Roman Empire
    Holy Roman Empire
    The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

    ".
  • The Old Woman: Cunégonde's maid while she was the mistress of Don Issachar and the Grand Inquisitor of Portugal. Fled with Candide and Cunégonde to the New World. Illegitimate daughter of Pope Urban X
    Pope Urban X
    Pope Urban X is a fictional pope created by French writer Voltaire in his book Candide. Voltaire did this in order to avoid any consequences that would be incurred upon him, for in Candide Pope Urban X has a bastard child...

    .
  • Cacambo: From a Spanish father and a Peruvian mother. Lived half his life in Spain and half in the Latin America. Candide's valet while in America.
  • Martin: Dutch amateur philosopher and Manichean. Met Candide in Suriname
    Suriname
    Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

    , travelled with him afterwards.
  • The baron of Thunder-ten-Tronckh: Son of the original Baron (a secondary character) and brother of Cunégonde. Thought to have been killed by the Bulgarians. Became a Jesuit in Paraguay.

Secondary characters

  • The baron and baroness of Thunder-ten-Tronckh: Father and mother of Cunégonde and the second baron. Both slain by the Bulgarians.
  • The king of the Bulgarians.
  • James the Anabaptist
    Anabaptist
    Anabaptists are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, and their direct descendants, particularly the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites....

    : Saved Candide from a lynching in the Netherlands. Drowned in the port of Lisbon.
  • Don Issachar: Jewish landlord in Portugal. Cunégonde became his mistress, shared with the Grand Inquisitor of Portugal. Killed by Candide.
  • The Grand Inquisitor
    Grand Inquisitor
    Grand Inquisitor is the lead official of an Inquisition. The most famous Inquisitor General is the Spanish Dominican Tomás de Torquemada, who spearheaded the Spanish Inquisition.-List of Spanish Grand Inquisitors:-Castile:-Aragon:...

     of Portugal: Sentenced Candide and Pangloss at the auto-da-fé
    Auto-da-fé
    An auto-da-fé was the ritual of public penance of condemned heretics and apostates that took place when the Spanish Inquisition or the Portuguese Inquisition had decided their punishment, followed by the execution by the civil authorities of the sentences imposed...

    . Cunégonde was his mistress jointly with Don Issachar. Killed by Candide.
  • Don Fernando d'Ibarra y Figueroa y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza: Spanish governor of Buenos Aires. Wanted Cunégonde as a mistress.
  • The king of El Dorado
    El Dorado
    El Dorado is the name of a Muisca tribal chief who covered himself with gold dust and, as an initiation rite, dived into a highland lake.Later it became the name of a legendary "Lost City of Gold" that has fascinated – and so far eluded – explorers since the days of the Spanish Conquistadors...

    , who helped Candide and Cacambo out of El Dorado and made them rich.
  • Mynheer Vanderdendur: Dutch ship captain. Offered to take Candide from America to France for 30,000 gold coins, but then departed without him, stealing all his riches.
  • The abbot of Perigord: Befriended Candide and Martin, led the police to arrest them; he and the police officer accepted three diamonds each and released them.
  • The marchioness of Parolignac: Parisian wench who took an elaborate title.
  • The scholar: One of the guests of the "marchioness". Argued with Candide about art.
  • Paquette: The one who gave Pangloss syphilis
    Syphilis
    Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

    . After the slaying by the Bulgarians, worked as a prostitute. Became the property of Friar Giroflée.
  • Friar Giroflée: Theatin friar. In love with the prostitute Paquette.
  • Signor Pococuranté: A Venetian noble. Candide and Martin visited his estate, where he discussed his disdain of most of the canon of great art.
  • In an inn in Venice, Candide and Martin ate with six foreigners who turned out to be deposed monarchs. They were:
    • Ahmed III
      Ahmed III
      Ahmed III was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and a son of Sultan Mehmed IV . His mother was Mâh-Pâre Ummatullah Râbi'a Gül-Nûş Valide Sultan, originally named Evmania Voria, who was an ethnic Greek. He was born at Hajioglupazari, in Dobruja...

    • Ivan VI of Russia
      Ivan VI of Russia
      Ivan VI Antonovich of Russia , was proclaimed Emperor of Russia in 1740, as an infant, although he never actually reigned. Within less than a year, he was overthrown by the Empress Elizabeth of Russia, Peter the Great's daughter...

    • Charles Edward Stuart
      Charles Edward Stuart
      Prince Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie or The Young Pretender was the second Jacobite pretender to the thrones of Great Britain , and Ireland...

    • Augustus III of Poland
      Augustus III of Poland
      Augustus III, known as the Saxon ; ; also Prince-elector Friedrich August II was the Elector of Saxony in 1733-1763, as Frederick Augustus II , King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1734-1763.-Biography:Augustus was the only legitimate son of Augustus II the Strong, Imperial Prince-Elector...

    • Stanisław Leszczyński
    • Theodore of Corsica

Synopsis

Candide contains thirty episodic
Episode
An episode is a part of a dramatic work such as a serial television or radio program. An episode is a part of a sequence of a body of work, akin to a chapter of a book. The term sometimes applies to works based on other forms of mass media as well, as in Star Wars...

 chapters, which may be grouped into two main schemes: one consists of two divisions, separated by the protagonist's hiatus in El Dorado
El Dorado
El Dorado is the name of a Muisca tribal chief who covered himself with gold dust and, as an initiation rite, dived into a highland lake.Later it became the name of a legendary "Lost City of Gold" that has fascinated – and so far eluded – explorers since the days of the Spanish Conquistadors...

, the other consists of three parts, each defined by its geographical setting. By the former scheme, the first half of Candide constitutes the rising action and the last part the resolution. This view is supported by the strong theme of travel and quest, reminiscent of adventure and picaresque novels, which tend to employ such a dramatic structure
Dramatic structure
Dramatic structure is the structure of a dramatic work such as a play or film. Many scholars have analyzed dramatic structure, beginning with Aristotle in his Poetics...

. By the latter scheme, the thirty chapters may be grouped into three parts each comprising ten chapters and defined by locale: I–X are set in Europe, XI–XX are set in the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, and XXI–XXX are set in Europe and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. The plot summary that follows uses this second format and includes Voltaire's additions of 1761.

Chapters I–X

The tale of Candide begins in the castle of the Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh in Westphalia
Westphalia
Westphalia is a region in Germany, centred on the cities of Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Minden and Münster.Westphalia is roughly the region between the rivers Rhine and Weser, located north and south of the Ruhr River. No exact definition of borders can be given, because the name "Westphalia"...

, home to the Baron's daughter, Lady Cunégonde; his bastard nephew, Candide; a tutor, Pangloss; a chambermaid, Paquette; and the rest of the Baron's family. The protagonist
Protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

, Candide, is romantically attracted to Cunégonde. He is a child of "the most unaffected simplicity", whose face is "the index of his mind". Dr. Pangloss, professor of "métaphysico-théologo-cosmolonigologie" and self-proclaimed optimist, teaches his pupils that they live in the "best of all possible worlds
Best of all possible worlds
The phrase "the best of all possible worlds" was coined by the German polymath Gottfried Leibniz in his 1710 work Essais de Théodicée sur la bonté de Dieu, la liberté de l'homme et l'origine du mal...

" and that "all is for the best".
All is well in the castle until Cunégonde sees Pangloss sexually engaged with Paquette in some bushes. Encouraged by this show of affection, Cunégonde drops her handkerchief next to Candide which entices him to kiss her. For this infraction, Candide is evicted from the castle, at which point he is captured by Bulgar (Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n) recruiters and coerced into military service, where he is flogged
Flagellation
Flagellation or flogging is the act of methodically beating or whipping the human body. Specialised implements for it include rods, switches, the cat o' nine tails and the sjambok...

, nearly executed, and forced to participate in a major battle between the Bulgars and the Abares (an allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 representing the Prussians and the French). Candide eventually escapes the army and makes his way to Holland where he is given aid by Jacques, an Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Anabaptists are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, and their direct descendants, particularly the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites....

, who strengthens Candide's optimism. Soon after, Candide finds his master Pangloss, now a beggar with syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

. Pangloss reveals he was infected with this disease by Paquette and shocks Candide by relating how Castle Thunder-ten-Tronckh was destroyed by Bulgars, and that Cunégonde and her whole family were killed. Pangloss is cured of his illness by Jacques, losing one eye and one ear in the process, and the three set sail to Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

.

In Lisbon's harbor, they are overtaken by a vicious storm which destroys the boat. Jacques attempts to save a sailor, and is in the process thrown overboard. The sailor makes no move to help the drowning Jacques, and Candide is in a state of despair until Pangloss explains to him that Lisbon harbor was created in order for Jacques to drown. Only Pangloss, Candide, and the "brutish sailor" who let Jacques drown survive the wreck and reach Lisbon, which is promptly hit by an earthquake, tsunami and fire which kill tens of thousands. The sailor leaves in order to loot the rubble while Candide, injured and begging for help, is lectured on the optimistic view of the situation by Pangloss.

The next day, Pangloss discusses his optimistic philosophy with a member of the Portuguese Inquisition
Portuguese Inquisition
The Portuguese Inquisition was formally established in Portugal in 1536 at the request of the King of Portugal, João III. Manuel I had asked for the installation of the Inquisition in 1515 to fulfill the commitment of marriage with Maria of Aragon, but it was only after his death that the Pope...

, and he and Candide are arrested for heresy, set to be tortured and killed in an "auto-da-fé" set up to appease God and prevent another disaster. Candide is flogged and sees Pangloss hanged, but another earthquake intervenes and he escapes. He is approached by an old woman, who leads him to a house where Lady Cunégonde waits, alive. Candide is surprised: Pangloss had told him that Cunégonde had been raped and disemboweled. She had been, but Cunégonde points out that people survive such things. However, her rescuer sold her to a Jewish merchant who was then threatened by a corrupt Grand Inquisitor
Grand Inquisitor
Grand Inquisitor is the lead official of an Inquisition. The most famous Inquisitor General is the Spanish Dominican Tomás de Torquemada, who spearheaded the Spanish Inquisition.-List of Spanish Grand Inquisitors:-Castile:-Aragon:...

 into sharing her. Her owners arrive, find her with another man, and Candide kills them both. Candide and the two women flee the city, heading to the Americas. Along the way, Cunégonde falls into self-pity, complaining of all the misfortunes that have befallen her. The old woman reciprocates by revealing her own tragic life, which included having a buttock cut off in order to feed some starving men.

Chapters XI–XX

The trio arrive in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

, where Governor Don Fernando d'Ibarra, y Figueroa, y Mascarenes, y Lampourdos, y Souza asks to marry Cunégonde. Just then, an alcalde
Alcalde
Alcalde , or Alcalde ordinario, is the traditional Spanish municipal magistrate, who had both judicial and administrative functions. An alcalde was, in the absence of a corregidor, the presiding officer of the Castilian cabildo and judge of first instance of a town...

 (a Portuguese fortress commander) arrives, pursuing Candide for killing the Grand Inquisitor. Leaving the women behind, Candide flees to Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 with his practical and heretofore unmentioned manservant, Cacambo.

At a border post on the way to Paraguay, Cacambo and Candide speak to the commandant
Commandant
Commandant is a senior title often given to the officer in charge of a large training establishment or academy. This usage is common in anglophone nations...

, who turns out to be Cunégonde's unnamed brother. He explains that after his family was slaughtered, the Jesuits' preparation for his burial revived him, and he has since joined the order. When Candide proclaims he intends to marry Cunégonde, her brother attacks him, and Candide stabs him through with his rapier. After lamenting all the people (mainly priests) he's killed, he and Cacambo flee. In their flight, Candide and Cacambo come across two naked women being chased and bitten by a pair of monkeys. Candide, seeking to protect the women, shoots and kills the monkeys, but is informed by Cacambo that the monkeys and women were probably lovers.

Cacambo and Candide are captured by Oreillons, the fictional inhabitants of the area. Mistaking Candide for a Jesuit by his robes, the Oreillons prepare to cook Candide and Cacambo; however, Cacambo convinces the Oreillons that Candide killed a Jesuit to procure the robe. Cacambo and Candide are released and travel for a month on foot and then down a river by canoe, living on fruits and berries.

After a few more adventures, Candide and Cacambo wander into El Dorado
El Dorado
El Dorado is the name of a Muisca tribal chief who covered himself with gold dust and, as an initiation rite, dived into a highland lake.Later it became the name of a legendary "Lost City of Gold" that has fascinated – and so far eluded – explorers since the days of the Spanish Conquistadors...

, a geographically isolated utopia
Utopia
Utopia is an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system. The word was imported from Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt...

 where the streets are covered with precious stones, there exist no priests, and all of the king's jokes are funny. Candide and Cacambo stay a month in El Dorado, but Candide is still in pain without Cunégonde, and expresses to the king his wish to leave. The king points out that this is a foolish idea, but generously helps them do so. The pair continue their journey, now accompanied by one hundred red pack sheep carrying provisions and incredible sums of money, which they slowly lose or have stolen over the next few adventures.

Candide and Cacambo eventually reach Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

, where they split up: Cacambo travels to Buenos Aires to retrieve Lady Cunégonde, while Candide prepares to travel to Europe to await the two. Candide's remaining sheep are stolen, and Candide is fined heavily by a Dutch magistrate for petulance over the theft. Before leaving Surinam, Candide feels in need of companionship, so he interviews a number of local men who have been through various ill-fortunes and settles on a man named Martin.

Chapters XXI–XXX

This companion, Martin, is a Manichean scholar based on the real-life pessimist Pierre Bayle
Pierre Bayle
Pierre Bayle was a French philosopher and writer best known for his seminal work the Historical and Critical Dictionary, published beginning in 1695....

, who was a chief opponent of Leibniz. For the remainder of the voyage, Martin and Candide argue about philosophy, Martin painting the entire world as occupied by fools. Candide, however, remains an optimist at heart, since it is all he knows. As they arrive in England, they see an admiral (based on Admiral Byng
John Byng
Admiral John Byng was a Royal Navy officer. After joining the navy at the age of thirteen he participated at the Battle of Cape Passaro in 1718. Over the next thirty years he built up a reputation as a solid naval officer and received promotion to Vice-Admiral in 1747...

) being shot for not killing enough of the enemy. Martin explains that Britain finds it necessary to shoot an admiral from time to time "pour l'encouragement des autres" (to encourage the others). Candide, horrified, arranges for them to leave Britain immediately. After various scenes satirising other European institutions, Candide and Martin meet Paquette, the chambermaid who infected Pangloss with his syphilis, in Venice. She is now a prostitute, and is spending her time with a monk, Brother Giroflée. Although both appear happy on the surface, they reveal their despair: Paquette has led a miserable existence as a sexual object, and the monk detests the religious order in which he was indoctrinated.

Later, while Candide and Martin are eating supper, Cacambo returns to Candide and informs him that Cunégonde is in Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, and that she has been enslaved. She is now washing dishes for a prince of Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, and has become ugly. On the way to rescue her, Candide finds Pangloss and Cunégonde's brother rowing in the galley. Candide buys their freedom and further passage at steep prices. The baron and Pangloss relate how they survived, but despite the horrors he has been through, Pangloss's optimism remains unshaken: "I still hold to my original opinions, because, after all, I'm a philosopher, and it wouldn't be proper for me to recant, since Leibniz cannot be wrong, and since pre-established harmony
Pre-established harmony
Gottfried Leibniz's theory of pre-established harmony is a philosophical theory about causation under which every "substance" only affects itself, but all the substances in the world nevertheless seem to causally interact with each other because they have been programmed by God in advance to...

 is the most beautiful thing in the world, along with the plenum and subtle matter
Subtle body
A subtle body is one of a series of psycho-spiritual constituents of living beings, according to various esoteric, occult, and mystical teachings...

."

The travellers arrive on the Ottoman coast where they rejoin Cunégonde and the old woman. Cunégonde has indeed become hideously ugly but Candide nevertheless buys their freedom and marries Cunégonde to spite her brother. Paquette and Brother Giroflée, too, are reconciled with Candide on a farm which he just bought with the last of his finances.

One day, the protagonists seek out a dervish
Dervish
A Dervish or Darvesh is someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or "Tariqah", known for their extreme poverty and austerity, similar to mendicant friars in Christianity or Hindu/Buddhist/Jain sadhus.-Etymology:The Persian word darvīsh is of ancient origin and descends from a Proto-Iranian...

 known as a great philosopher of the land. Pangloss asks him why Man is made to suffer so, and what they all ought to do. The dervish responds by asking rhetorically why Pangloss is concerned about the existence of evil and good. The dervish describes human beings as mice on a ship sent by a king to Egypt; their comfort does not matter to the king. The dervish then slams his door on the group. Returning to their farm, Candide, Pangloss, and Martin meet a Turk
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 whose philosophy is to devote his life only to simple work and not concern himself with external affairs. He and his four children work a small farm to keep "free of three great evils: boredom, vice and necessity", or "poverty" as per John Butt's 1947 translation. Candide, Pangloss, Martin, Cunégonde, Paquette, Cacambo, the old woman, and Brother Giroflée all set to work (on this "louable dessein", or "commendable plan", as the narrator calls it), each to one specific task. Candide ignores Pangloss's insistence that all turned out for the best by necessity, instead telling him "we must cultivate our garden".

Style

As Voltaire himself described it, the purpose of Candide was to "bring amusement to a small number of men of wit". The author achieves this goal by combining his sharp wit with a fun parody of the classic adventure-romance plot. Candide is confronted with horrible events described in painstaking detail so often that it becomes humorous. Literary theorist Frances K. Barasch described Voltaire's matter-of-fact narrative as treating topics such as mass death "as coolly as a weather report". The fast-paced and improbable plot—in which characters narrowly escape death repeatedly, for instance—allows for compounding tragedies to befall the same characters over and over again. In the end, Candide is primarily, as described by Voltaire's biographer Ian Davidson, "short, light, rapid and humorous".

Behind the playful façade of Candide which has amused so many, there lies very harsh criticism of contemporary European civilization which angered many others. European governments such as France, Prussia, Portugal and England are each attacked ruthlessly by the author: the French and Prussians for the Seven Years' War, the Portuguese for their Inquisition
Portuguese Inquisition
The Portuguese Inquisition was formally established in Portugal in 1536 at the request of the King of Portugal, João III. Manuel I had asked for the installation of the Inquisition in 1515 to fulfill the commitment of marriage with Maria of Aragon, but it was only after his death that the Pope...

, and the British for the execution of John Byng
John Byng
Admiral John Byng was a Royal Navy officer. After joining the navy at the age of thirteen he participated at the Battle of Cape Passaro in 1718. Over the next thirty years he built up a reputation as a solid naval officer and received promotion to Vice-Admiral in 1747...

. Organised religion, too, is harshly treated in Candide. For example, Voltaire mocks the Jesuit order
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 of the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. Aldridge provides a characteristic example of such anti-clerical passages for which the work was banned: while in Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Cacambo remarks, "[The Jesuits] are masters of everything, and the people have no money at all …". Here, Voltaire suggests the Christian mission
Mission (Christian)
Christian missionary activities often involve sending individuals and groups , to foreign countries and to places in their own homeland. This has frequently involved not only evangelization , but also humanitarian work, especially among the poor and disadvantaged...

 in Paraguay is taking advantage of the local population. Voltaire depicts the Jesuits holding the indigenous peoples as slaves while they claim to be helping them.

Satire

The main method of Candide's satire is to contrast ironically great tragedy and comedy. The story does not invent or exaggerate evils of the world—it displays real ones starkly, allowing Voltaire to simplify subtle philosophies and cultural traditions, highlighting their flaws. Thus Candide derides optimism, for instance, with a deluge of horrible, historical (or at least plausible) events with no apparent redeeming qualities.

A simple example of the satire of Candide is seen in the treatment of the historical event witnessed by Candide and Martin in Portsmouth
Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

 harbour. There, the duo spy an anonymous admiral, supposed to represent John Byng
John Byng
Admiral John Byng was a Royal Navy officer. After joining the navy at the age of thirteen he participated at the Battle of Cape Passaro in 1718. Over the next thirty years he built up a reputation as a solid naval officer and received promotion to Vice-Admiral in 1747...

, being executed for failing to properly engage a French fleet. The admiral is blindfolded and shot on the deck of his own ship, merely "to encourage the others" (Fr. "Pour encourager les autres"). This depiction of military punishment trivializes Byng's death. The dry, pithy explanation "to encourage the others" thus satirises a serious historical event in characteristically Voltairian fashion. For its classic wit, this phrase has become one of the more often quoted from Candide.

Voltaire depicts the worst of the world and his pathetic hero's desperate effort to fit it into an optimistic outlook. Almost all of Candide is a discussion of various forms of evil: its characters rarely find even temporary respite. There is at least one notable exception: the episode of El Dorado
El Dorado
El Dorado is the name of a Muisca tribal chief who covered himself with gold dust and, as an initiation rite, dived into a highland lake.Later it became the name of a legendary "Lost City of Gold" that has fascinated – and so far eluded – explorers since the days of the Spanish Conquistadors...

, a fantastic village in which the inhabitants are simply rational, and their society is just and reasonable. The positivity of El Dorado may be contrasted with the pessimistic attitude of most of the book. Even in this case, the bliss of El Dorado is fleeting: Candide soon leaves the village to seek Cunégonde, whom he eventually marries only out of spite.
Another element of the satire focuses on what William F. Bottiglia, author of many published works on Candide, calls the "sentimental foibles of the age" and Voltaire's attack on them. Flaws in European culture are highlighted as Candide parodies adventure and romance clichés, mimicking the style of a picaresque novel
Picaresque novel
The picaresque novel is a popular sub-genre of prose fiction which is usually satirical and depicts, in realistic and often humorous detail, the adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his wits in a corrupt society...

. A number of archetypal characters thus have recognisable manifestations in Voltaire's work: Candide is supposed to be the drifting rogue
Rogue (vagrant)
A rogue is a vagrant person who wanders from place to place. Like a drifter, a rogue is an independent person who rejects conventional rules of society in favor of following their own personal goals and values....

 of low social class, Cunégonde the sex interest, Pangloss the knowledgeable mentor and Cacambo the skilful valet. As the plot unfolds, readers find that Candide is no rogue, Cunégonde becomes ugly and Pangloss is a stubborn fool. The characters of Candide are unrealistic, two-dimensional, mechanical, and even marionette
Marionette
A marionette is a puppet controlled from above using wires or strings depending on regional variations. A marionette's puppeteer is called a manipulator. Marionettes are operated with the puppeteer hidden or revealed to an audience by using a vertical or horizontal control bar in different forms...

-like; they are simplistic and stereotypical. As the initially naïve protagonist eventually comes to a mature conclusion—however noncommittal—the novella is a bildungsroman
Bildungsroman
In literary criticism, bildungsroman or coming-of-age story is a literary genre which focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood , and in which character change is thus extremely important...

, if not a very serious one.

Garden motif

Gardens are thought by many critics to play a critical symbolic role in Candide. The first location commonly identified as a garden is the castle of the Baron, from which Candide and Cunégonde are evicted much in the same fashion as Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

 are evicted from the Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

 in Genesis. Cyclically, the main characters of Candide conclude the novel in a garden of their own making, one which might represent celestial paradise. The third most prominent "garden" is El Dorado
El Dorado
El Dorado is the name of a Muisca tribal chief who covered himself with gold dust and, as an initiation rite, dived into a highland lake.Later it became the name of a legendary "Lost City of Gold" that has fascinated – and so far eluded – explorers since the days of the Spanish Conquistadors...

, which may be a false Eden. Other possibly symbolic gardens include the Jesuit pavilion, the garden of Pococurante, Cacambo's garden, and the Turk's garden.

These gardens are probably references to the Garden of Eden, but it has also been proposed, by Bottiglia, for example, that the gardens refer also to the Encyclopédie
Encyclopédie
Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers was a general encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1772, with later supplements, revised editions, and translations. It was edited by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert...

, and that Candide's conclusion to cultivate "his garden" symbolises Voltaire's great support for this endeavour. Candide and his companions, as they find themselves at the end of the novella, are in a very similar position to Voltaire's tightly knit philosophical circle which supported the Encyclopédie: the main characters of Candide live in seclusion to "cultivate [their] garden", just as Voltaire suggested his colleagues leave society to write. In addition, there is evidence in the epistolary
Epistle
An epistle is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter. The epistle genre of letter-writing was common in ancient Egypt as part of the scribal-school writing curriculum. The letters in the New Testament from Apostles to Christians...

 correspondence of Voltaire that he had elsewhere used the metaphor of gardening to describe writing the Encyclopédie. Another interpretative possibility is that Candide cultivating "his garden" suggests his engaging only in necessary occupations, such as feeding oneself and fighting boredom. This is analogous to Voltaire's own view on gardening: he was himself a gardener at his estates in Les Délices
Les Délices
Les Délices, or "The Delights", was a Geneva home of Voltaire, a French Enlightenment writer and philosopher. Voltaire moved to Les Délices in January 1755, having purchased a life interest in the estate. Being a foreigner, he could not buy the house directly.-External links:*...

 and Ferney, and he often wrote in his correspondence that gardening was an important pastime of his own, it being an extraordinarily effective way to keep busy.

Optimism

Candide satirises various philosophical and religious theories that Voltaire had previously criticised. Primary among these is Leibnizian optimism
Optimism
The Oxford English Dictionary defines optimism as having "hopefulness and confidence about the future or successful outcome of something; a tendency to take a favourable or hopeful view." The word is originally derived from the Latin optimum, meaning "best." Being optimistic, in the typical sense...

 (sometimes called Panglossianism after its fictional proponent), which Voltaire ridicules with descriptions of seemingly endless calamity. Voltaire demonstrates a variety of irredeemable evils in the world, leading many critics to contend that Voltaire's treatment of evil—specifically the theological problem of its existence—is the focus of the work. Heavily referenced in the text are the Lisbon earthquake, disease, and the sinking of ships in storms. Also, war, thievery, and murder—evils of human design—are explored as extensively in Candide as are environmental ills. Bottiglia notes Voltaire is "comprehensive" in his enumeration of the world's evils. He is unrelenting in attacking Leibnizian optimism.

Fundamental to Voltaire's attack is Candide's tutor Pangloss, a self-proclaimed follower of Leibniz and a teacher of his doctrine. Ridicule of Pangloss's theories thus ridicules Leibniz himself, and Pangloss's reasoning is silly at best. For example, Pangloss's first teachings of the narrative absurdly mix up cause and effect:

Following such flawed reasoning even more doggedly than Candide, Pangloss defends optimism. Whatever their horrendous fortune, Pangloss reiterates "all is for the best" (Fr. "Tout est pour le mieux") and proceeds to "justify" the evil event's occurrence. A characteristic example of such theodicy
Theodicy
Theodicy is a theological and philosophical study which attempts to prove God's intrinsic or foundational nature of omnibenevolence , omniscience , and omnipotence . Theodicy is usually concerned with the God of the Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, due to the relevant...

 is found in Pangloss's explanation of why it is good that syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

 exists:

Candide, the impressionable and incompetent student of Pangloss, often tries to justify evil, fails, invokes his mentor and eventually despairs. It is by these failures that Candide is painfully cured (as Voltaire would see it) of his optimism.

Interestingly, this critique of Voltaire's seems to be directed almost exclusively at Leibnizian optimism. Candide does not ridicule Voltaire's contemporary Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson...

, a later optimist of slightly different convictions. Candide does not discuss Pope's optimistic principle that "all is right", but Leibniz's that states, "this is the best of all possible worlds". However subtle the difference between the two, Candide is unambiguous as to which is its subject. Some critics conjecture that Voltaire meant to spare Pope this ridicule out of respect, although Voltaire's Poème may have been written as a more direct response to Pope's theories. This work is similar to Candide in subject matter, but very different to it in style: the Poème embodies a more serious philosophical argument than Candide.

Conclusion

The conclusion of the novella, in which Candide finally dismisses his tutor's optimism, leaves unresolved what philosophy the protagonist is to accept in its stead. This element of Candide has been written about voluminously, perhaps above all others. The conclusion is enigmatic and its analysis is contentious.

Voltaire develops no formal, systematic philosophy for the characters to adopt. The conclusion of the novel may be thought of not as a philosophical alternative to optimism, but as a prescribed practical outlook (though what it prescribes is in dispute). Many critics have concluded that one minor character or another is portrayed as having the right philosophy. For instance, a number believe that Martin is treated sympathetically, and that his character holds Voltaire's ideal philosophy—pessimism. Others disagree, citing Voltaire's negative descriptions of Martin's principles and the conclusion of the work in which Martin plays little part.

Within debates attempting to decipher the conclusion of Candide lies another primary Candide debate. This one concerns the degree to which Voltaire was advocating a pessimistic philosophy, by which Candide and his companions give up hope for a better world. Critics argue that the group's reclusion on the farm signifies Candide and his companions' loss of hope for the rest of the human race. This view is to be compared to a reading that presents Voltaire as advocating a melioristic
Meliorism
Meliorism is an idea in metaphysical thinking holding that progress is a real concept leading to an improvement of the world. It holds that humans can, through their interference with processes that would otherwise be natural, produce an outcome which is an improvement over the aforementioned...

 philosophy and a precept committing the travellers to improving the world through metaphorical gardening. This debate, and others, focuses on the question of whether or not Voltaire was prescribing passive retreat from society, or active industrious contribution to it.

Inside/outside controversy

Separate from the debate about the text's conclusion is the "inside/outside" controversy. This argument centers on the matter of whether or not Voltaire was actually prescribing anything. Roy Wolper, professor emeritus of English, argues in a revolutionary 1969 paper that Candide does not necessarily speak for its author; that the work should be viewed as a narrative independent of Voltaire's history; and that its message is entirely (or mostly) inside it. This point of view, the "inside", specifically rejects attempts to find Voltaire's "voice" in the many characters of Candide and his other works. Indeed, writers have seen Voltaire as speaking through at least Candide, Martin, and the Turk. Wolper argues that Candide should be read with a minimum of speculation as to its meaning in Voltaire's personal life. His article ushered in a new era of Voltaire studies, causing many scholars to look at the novel differently.

Critics such as Lester Crocker, Henry Stavan, and Vivienne Mylne find too many similarities between Candide's point of view and that of Voltaire to accept the "inside" view; they support the "outside" interpretation. They believe that Candide's final decision is the same as Voltaire's, and see a strong connection between the development of the protagonist and his author. Some scholars who support the "outside" view also believe that the isolationist philosophy of the Old Turk closely mirrors that of Voltaire. Others see a strong parallel between Candide's gardening at the conclusion and the gardening of the author. Martine Darmon Meyer argues that the "inside" view fails to see the satirical work in context, and that denying that Candide is primarily a mockery of optimism (a matter of historical context) is a "very basic betrayal of the text".

Reception

Though Voltaire did not openly admit to having written the controversial Candide until 1768 (until then he signed with a pseudonym: "Monsieur le docteur Ralph", or "Doctor Ralph"), his authorship of the work was hardly disputed. Immediately after publication, the work and its author were denounced by both secular and religious authorities, because the book openly derides government and church alike. It was because of such polemics that Omer-Louis-François Joly de Fleury, who was Advocate General
Advocate General
An Advocate General is a senior law officer of a country or other jurisdiction, usually charged with advising the courts or Government on legal matters.-India:In India, an Advocate General is a legal adviser to a state government...

 to the Parisian parlement
Parlement
Parlements were regional legislative bodies in Ancien Régime France.The political institutions of the Parlement in Ancien Régime France developed out of the previous council of the king, the Conseil du roi or curia regis, and consequently had ancient and customary rights of consultation and...

 when Candide was published, found parts of Candide to be "contrary to religion and morals".

Despite much official indictment, soon after its publication, Candide's irreverent prose was being quoted. "Let us eat a Jesuit", for instance, became a popular phrase for its reference to a humorous passage in Candide. By the end of February 1759, the Grand Council of Geneva
Grand Council of Geneva
The Grand Council of Geneva is the legislature of the canton of Geneva, in Switzerland. Geneva, styled as a 'Republic and Canton', has a unicameral legislature. The Grand Council has 100 seats, with members elected every four years...

 and the administrators of Paris had banned Candide. Candide nevertheless succeeded in selling twenty thousand to thirty thousand copies by the end of the year in over twenty editions, making it a best seller. The Duke de La Vallière speculated near the end of January 1759 that Candide might have been the fastest-selling book ever. In 1762, Candide was listed in the Index Librorum Prohibitorum
Index Librorum Prohibitorum
The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was a list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church. A first version was promulgated by Pope Paul IV in 1559, and a revised and somewhat relaxed form was authorized at the Council of Trent...

, the Roman Catholic Church's list of prohibited books.

Bannings of Candide lasted into the twentieth century in the United States, where it has long been considered a seminal work of Western literature. At least once, Candide was temporarily barred from entering America: in February 1929, a US customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 official in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 prevented a number of copies of the book, deemed "obscene", from reaching a Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 French class. Candide was admitted in August of the same year; however by that time the class was over. In an interview soon after Candide's detention, the official who confiscated the book explained the office's decision to ban it, "… But about 'Candide,' I'll tell you. For years we've been letting that book get by. There were so many different editions, all sizes and kinds, some illustrated and some plain, that we figured the book must be all right. Then one of us happened to read it. It's a filthy book …".

Legacy

Candide is the most widely read of Voltaire's many works, and it is considered one of the great achievements of Western literature
Western literature
Western literature refers to the literature written in the languages of Europe, including the ones belonging to the Indo-European language family as well as several geographically or historically related languages such as Basque, Hungarian, and so forth...

. However, Candide is not necessarily considered a true "classic". According to Bottiglia, "The physical size of Candide, as well as Voltaire's attitude toward his fiction, precludes the achievement of artistic dimension through plenitude, autonomous '3D' vitality, emotional resonance, or poetic exaltation. Candide, then, cannot in quantity of quality, measure up to the supreme classics." Bottiglia instead calls it a miniature classic, though others are more forgiving of its size. As the only work of Voltaire which has remained popular up to the present day, Candide is listed in The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. It is included in the Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

 collection Great Books of the Western World
Great Books of the Western World
Great Books of the Western World is a series of books originally published in the United States in 1952 by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. to present the western canon in a single package of 54 volumes. The series is now in its second edition and contains 60 volumes.-History:The project got its start...

. Candide has had a significant influence on modern writers of black humour
Black comedy
A black comedy, or dark comedy, is a comic work that employs black humor or gallows humor. The definition of black humor is problematic; it has been argued that it corresponds to the earlier concept of gallows humor; and that, as humor has been defined since Freud as a comedic act that anesthetizes...

 such as Céline
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Louis-Ferdinand Céline was the pen name of French writer and physician Louis-Ferdinand Destouches . Céline was chosen after his grandmother's first name. He is considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, developing a new style of writing that modernized both French and...

, Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller was a US satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His best known work is Catch-22, a novel about US servicemen during World War II...

, John Barth
John Barth
John Simmons Barth is an American novelist and short-story writer, known for the postmodernist and metafictive quality of his work.-Life:...

, Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. is an American novelist. For his most praised novel, Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon received the National Book Award, and is regularly cited as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature...

, Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was a 20th century American writer. His works such as Cat's Cradle , Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions blend satire, gallows humor and science fiction. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association.-Early...

, and Terry Southern
Terry Southern
Terry Southern was an American author, essayist, screenwriter and university lecturer, noted for his distinctive satirical style...

. Its parody and picaresque methods have become favourites of black humorists.

Charles Brockden Brown
Charles Brockden Brown
Charles Brockden Brown , an American novelist, historian, and editor of the Early National period, is generally regarded by scholars as the most ambitious and accomplished US novelist before James Fenimore Cooper...

, an early American novelist, may have been directly affected by Voltaire, whose work he knew well. Mark Kamrath, professor of English, describes the strength of the connection between Candide and Edgar Huntly; or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker (1799): "An unusually large number of parallels … crop up in the two novels, particularly in terms of characters and plot." For instance, the protagonists of both novels are romantically involved with a recently orphaned young woman. Furthermore, in both works the brothers of the female lovers are Jesuits, and each is murdered (although under different circumstances). Some twentieth-century novels that may have been influenced by Candide are dystopia
Dystopia
A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four...

n science-fiction works. Armand Mattelart
Armand Mattelart
Armand Mattelart is a Belgian sociologist and well known as a Leftist French scholar. His work deals with media, culture and communication, specially in their historical and international dimensions....

, a French critic, sees Candide in Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

's Brave New World
Brave New World
Brave New World is Aldous Huxley's fifth novel, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 , the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of...

, George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

's Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is a dystopian novel about Oceania, a society ruled by the oligarchical dictatorship of the Party...

and Yevgeny Zamyatin
Yevgeny Zamyatin
Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin was a Russian author of science fiction and political satire. Despite having been a prominent Old Bolshevik, Zamyatin was deeply disturbed by the policies pursued by the CPSU following the October Revolution...

's We
We (novel)
We is a dystopian novel by Yevgeny Zamyatin completed in 1921. It was written in response to the author's personal experiences during the Russian revolution of 1905, the Russian revolution of 1917, his life in the Newcastle suburb of Jesmond, and his work in the Tyne shipyards during the First...

, three canonical works of the genre. Specifically, Mattelart writes that in each of these works, there exist references to Candide's popularisation of the phrase "the best of all possible worlds". He cites as evidence, for example, that the French version of Brave New World was entitled Le Meilleur des mondes (En. literally "The best of worlds").

Readers of Candide often compare it with certain works of the modern genre the Theatre of the Absurd
Theatre of the Absurd
The Theatre of the Absurd is a designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction, written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, as well as to the style of theatre which has evolved from their work...

. Haydn Mason, a Voltaire scholar, sees in Candide a few similarities to this brand of literature. For instance, he notes commonalities of Candide and Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot is an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for someone named Godot to arrive. Godot's absence, as well as numerous other aspects of the play, have led to many different interpretations since the play's...

(1952). In both of these works, and in a similar manner, friendship provides emotional support for characters when they are confronted with harshness of their existences. However, Mason qualifies, "… the conte must not be seen as a forerunner of the 'absurd' in modern fiction. Candide's world is full of ridiculous and meaningless elements, but human beings are not totally deprived of the ability tomake [sic] sense out of it." John Pilling, biographer of Beckett, does state that Candide was an early and powerful influence on Beckett's thinking.

Derivative works

In 1760, one year after Voltaire published Candide, a sequel was published with the name Candide, ou l'optimisme, seconde partie
Candide, Part II
Candide, or Optimism — Part II is an apocryphal picaresque novel, possibly written by Thorel de Campigneulles or Henri Joseph Du Laurens , published in 1760. Candide was written by Voltaire and had been published a year earlier . This work was banned and became popular enough that pirated versions...

. This work is attributed both to Thorel de Campigneulles, a writer unknown today, and Henri Joseph Du Laurens
Henri Joseph Du Laurens
Henri Joseph Du Laurens was a French novelist, author of such works as Le compère Matthieu, Imirce, ou la fille de la nature and L'Arrétin moderne. He may also have written Candide, Part II....

, who is suspected of having habitually plagiarised Voltaire. The story continues in this sequel with Candide having new adventures in the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, Persia
Afsharid dynasty
The Afsharids were members of an Iranian dynasty of Turkmen origin from Khorasan who ruled Persia in the 18th century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the military commander Nader Shah who deposed the last member of the Safavid dynasty and proclaimed himself King of Iran. During Nader's reign,...

, and Denmark. Part II has potential use in studies of the popular and literary receptions of Candide, but is almost certainly apocrypha
Apocrypha
The term apocrypha is used with various meanings, including "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", ancient Chinese "revealed texts and objects" and "Christian texts that are not canonical"....

l. In total, by the year 1803, at least ten imitations of Candide or continuations of its story were published by authors other than Voltaire.
Candide the operetta
Candide (operetta)
Candide is an operetta with music composed by Leonard Bernstein, based on the novella of the same name by Voltaire. The operetta was first performed in 1956 with a libretto by Lillian Hellman; but since 1974 it has been generally performed with a book by Hugh Wheeler which is more faithful to...

 was originally conceived by playwright Lillian Hellman
Lillian Hellman
Lillian Florence "Lily" Hellman was an American playwright, linked throughout her life with many left-wing causes...

, as a play with incidental music. Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim...

, the American composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 and conductor who wrote the music was so excited about the project that he convinced Hellman to do it as a "comic operetta". Many lyricists worked on the show, including James Agee
James Agee
James Rufus Agee was an American author, journalist, poet, screenwriter and film critic. In the 1940s, he was one of the most influential film critics in the U.S...

, Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th century urban foibles....

, John Latouche, Richard Wilbur
Richard Wilbur
Richard Purdy Wilbur is an American poet and literary translator. He was appointed the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1987, and twice received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, in 1957 and again in 1989....

, Leonard and Felicia Bernstein, and Hellman. Hershy Kay
Hershy Kay
Hershy Kay was an American composer, arranger, and orchestrator. He is most noteworthy for the orchestrations of several Broadway shows, and for the ballets he arranged for George Balanchine's New York City Ballet....

 orchestrated all the pieces except for the overture
Overture
Overture in music is the term originally applied to the instrumental introduction to an opera...

, which Bernstein did himself.

Candide first opened on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 as a musical
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 on 1 December 1956. The premier production was directed by Tyrone Guthrie
Tyrone Guthrie
Sir William Tyrone Guthrie was an English theatrical director instrumental in the founding of the Stratford Festival of Canada, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, at his family's home, Annaghmakerrig, in County Monaghan, Ireland.-Life and career:Guthrie...

 and conducted by Samuel Krachmalnick. While this production was a box office flop, the music was highly praised, and an original cast album was made. The album gradually became a cult hit, but Hellman's libretto was criticised as being too serious an adaptation of Voltaire's novel. Candide would be more popular seventeen years later with a new libretto by Hugh Wheeler
Hugh Wheeler
Hugh Callingham Wheeler was an English-born playwright, screenwriter, librettist, poet, and translator. He resided in the United States from 1934 until his death and became a naturalized citizen in 1942. He had attended London University.Under the noms de plume Patrick Quentin, Q...

.

Candido ovvero un sogno fatto in Sicilia (1977) or simply Candido is a book by Leonardo Sciascia
Leonardo Sciascia
Leonardo Sciascia was an Italian writer, novelist, essayist, playwright and politician. Some of his works have been made into films, including Open Doors and Il giorno della civetta .- Biography :Sciascia was born in Racalmuto, Sicily...

. It was at least partly based on Voltaire's Candide, although the actual influence of Candide on Candido is a hotly debated topic. A number of theories on the matter have been proposed. Proponents of one say that Candido is very similar to Candide, only with a happy ending; supporters of another claim that Voltaire provided Sciascia with only a starting point from which to work, that the two books are quite distinct.

Nedim Gürsel
Nedim Gürsel
Nedim Gürsel is a Turkish writer. In the late 1960s, he published novellas and essays in Turkish magazines. After graduating from Galatasaray High School in 1970, he studied at the Sorbonne. In 1974, he graduated from the Sorbonne's Department of Modern French Literature...

 wrote his 2001 novel Le voyage de Candide à Istanbul about a minor passage in Candide during which its protagonist meets Ahmed III
Ahmed III
Ahmed III was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and a son of Sultan Mehmed IV . His mother was Mâh-Pâre Ummatullah Râbi'a Gül-Nûş Valide Sultan, originally named Evmania Voria, who was an ethnic Greek. He was born at Hajioglupazari, in Dobruja...

, the deposed Turkish
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

. This chance meeting on a ship from Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 to Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 is the setting of Gürsel's book. Terry Southern
Terry Southern
Terry Southern was an American author, essayist, screenwriter and university lecturer, noted for his distinctive satirical style...

, in writing his popular novel Candy
Candy (novel)
Candy is a 1958 novel written by Maxwell Kenton in collaboration with Mason Hoffenberg published by Olympia Press. It was later published in North America by Putnam under the authors' own names...

with Mason Hoffenberg adapted Candide for a modern audience and changed the protagonist from male to female. Candy deals with the rejection of a sort of optimism which the author sees in women's magazines of the modern era; Candy also parodies pornography
Pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

 and popular psychology
Popular psychology
The term popular psychology refers to concepts and theories about human mental life and behavior that are purportedly based on psychology and that attain popularity among the general population...

. This adaptation of Candide was itself adapted for the cinema by director Christian Marquand
Christian Marquand
Christian Marquand was a French director, actor and screenwriter working in French cinema. A native of Marseille, he was born to a Spanish father and an Arabic mother his sister was film director Nadine Trintignant, and he can be seen as a heartthrob in French movies of the 1950s.His first film...

 in 1968.

In addition to the above, Candide was made into a number of minor films and theatrical adaptations throughout the twentieth century. For a list of these, see Voltaire: Candide ou L'Optimisme et autres contes (1989) with preface and commentaries by Pierre Malandain.

In May 2009, a play called "Optimism," based on Candide opened at the CUB Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

. It followed the basic storyline of Candide, incorporating anachronisms, music and stand up comedy from comedian Frank Woodley
Frank Woodley
Frank Woodley is an Australian comedian who is best known for his work alongside Colin Lane as part of the comedic duo, Lano and Woodley. The two performed together for almost 20 years in live shows, a television series and an album of comedic songs, before deciding to pursue individual careers...

. It toured Australia and played at the Edinburgh International Festival
Edinburgh International Festival
The Edinburgh International Festival is a festival of performing arts that takes place in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, over three weeks from around the middle of August. By invitation from the Festival Director, the International Festival brings top class performers of music , theatre, opera...

.

See also

  • Candide ou l'optimisme au XXe siècle
    Candide ou l'optimisme au XXe siècle
    Candide ou l'Optimisme du XXe siècle is a 1960 French comedy drama film directed by Norbert Carbonnaux and written by Carbonnaux and Albert Simonin. It stars Jean-Pierre Cassel as Candide, Pierre Brasseur as Pangloss, Louis de Funès as the officer of the Gestapo, and Daliah Lavi as Cunégonde...

    (film, 1960)
  • List of French-language authors


External links

Editions
(plain text and HTML)
  • Candide at Internet Archive
    Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

     (scanned books original editions color illustrated)
  • Candide at LibriVox
    LibriVox
    LibriVox is an online digital library of free public domain audiobooks, read by volunteers and is probably, since 2007, the world's most prolific audiobook publisher...

     (English audiobook)

Miscellaneous
  • Candide: Illustrations of a classic, bibliography of illustrated editions, list of available electronic editions and more useful information from Trier University Library
  • Voltaire's Candide, a public wiki dedicated to Candide
  • Brief Bibliography for the Study of Candide, issued by the Voltaire Society of America
  • (iTunes link) Podcast lecture on Candide, from Dr Martin Evans at Stanford University
    Stanford University
    The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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