Candide is a French satire first published in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. The novella has been widely translated, with English versions titled: All for the Best (1759); The Optimist (1762); and Optimism (1947). It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply "optimism") by his mentor, Professor 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.
The novella has never been out of print and has been translated into every conceivable language. The text of this Norton Critical Edition remains that of Robert M. Adams’s superlative translation, accompanied by explanatory annotations.
The Norton Critical Edition also includes:
- A full introduction by Nicholas Cronk.
- Six background studies of Enlightenment ideas and themes (by Richard Holmes, Adam Gopnik, W. H. Barber, Dennis Fletcher, Haydn Mason, and Nicholas Cronk), five of these new to the Third Edition.
- Seven critical essays—five of them new to this edition—representing a wide range of approaches to Candide. Contributors include J. G. Weightman, Robin Howells, James J. Lynch, Philip Stewart, Erich Auerbach, and Jean Starobinski.
- A revised and expanded Selected Bibliography.
This book is paperback.
“I have used this text in Western Civ courses many times. It is definitely the best and most accessible Candide available. The annotations are especially helpful to students (and to their professors).” —Mark W. McLeod, Gonzaga University
“The Norton Critical Edition of Candide is a teaching gem, with clear, unmistakable glosses, an accurate translation and just enough background and criticism for undergraduate study as well as graduate-level reference. This is an excellent start!” —Frank E. Meek, Colorado Mountain College