Monday, June 29, 2009


OK - onto the next contestant for ARG's high school reading list. I'm picking the short ones right now.

Candide is a book one can read in a day. It's a fanciful story of an innocent youth losing his innocence through exposure to a corrupt, ugly, deceitful, disloyal world. Voltaire. Sounds impressive, "the embodiment of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment" and all that.

It was slightly entertaining. Slightly comical. A few good jabs at the hubris of aristocracy, corruption of men in power, and the Inquisition. The gist of it was (at least I think) that the world is not a pretty place, and the best way to deal with it is to work hard (farming especially) and try to be happy.

OK. I can deal with that.

The plot is fantastical. The characters shallow. The satire, pretty funny. It must've been especially biting when it was written.

Since it's so short, I think it's worth a read.