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  1. The cover of my copy hails Candide as ‘caustic and hilarious’. Well I can agree with the caustic but I found nothing funny in the book. Candide travels round Europe and South America, providing Voltaire a vehicle for this satire on science, romance, philosophy, religion and government. Candide had been tutored by a Dr. Pangloss who preached a ‘the best of all possible worlds’ philosophy. But given the misfortunes he witnessed and suffered Candide found it increasingly hard to accept his former tutor’s teachings. This short book is basically a parody of Theodicee by Leibinz in which the German philosopher contests that the ‘world is basically good’, given that it was created by God it is the ‘best possible’. I can understand that on its publication in 1759 this book will have raised an eyebrow or two and set many heads spinning in the drawing rooms of Europe but now it seems fairly tame and obvious. As a story it is repetitive and lacks the imagination of Swift’s Gulliver.
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