Candide is a 1759 French satire by the Enlightenment philosopher
Voltaire. The novella begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a
sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with
Leibnizian optimism by his tutor, Pangloss. The work describes the
abrupt cessation of this existence, followed by Candide's slow, painful
disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the
world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not outright rejecting
optimism, 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". Candide is known for its
sarcastic tone and its erratic, fantastical, and fast-moving plot. With
a story similar to that of a more serious bildungsroman or picaresque
novel, 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 and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. As
philosophers of Voltaire's day contended with the problem of evil, so
too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and
humorously. 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. Today, Candide is recognised as Voltaire's magnum opus.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Western North Carolina declared itself an independent state under the
name of Franklin.
In their first major action of World War I, the British Expeditionary
Force defeated German troops in Mons, Belgium.
Arabs began attacking Jews in Hebron in the British Mandate of
Palestine, killing over sixty people in two days.
World War II: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to the
Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, a 10-year, mutual non-aggression treaty that
was eventually broken when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union two
The People's Liberation Army began an intense artillery bombardment of
Quemoy, sparking the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis.
Singing Revolution: Approximately two million people joined their hands
to form an over 600 km (373 mi) long human chain across the Estonian,
Latvian and Lithuanian Soviet republics.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
A weather phenomenon in the Eastern Pacific that is precisely
equivalent to a hurricane or cyclone, which results in wind speeds of
118km/h or above
Wikiquote quote of the day:
A few Cobras in your home will soon clear it of Rats and Mice. Of
course, you will still have the Cobras.
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