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Slave Outside Surinam[edit]

I think an incident outside Surinam in the book should be added. I've already tried twice but it was rejected as "unconstruc-tive", whatever that means. Basically, Candide and Cacamba are walking along when they find a slave by the side of the road who's lost a hand and leg, apparently in labor. He's been left there to die, it seems, and complains the Church teaches that everyone descends from Adam, and "you must admit no one could treat their relative more horribly." They held him to Surinam before splitting up. This is a very important part of the book, as it shows a view on slavery and racism practically unheard of at the time. Does someone want to add this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by M carteron (talkcontribs) 07:54, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the synopsis of this article is probably not going to get any longer. See the discussions between Awadewit and me in the above peer review. -- rmrfstar (talk) 00:36, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Introduction section is too long[edit]

The introduction (i.e. the first three paragraphs of the article) is a bit long. This section should be a very short and basic synopsis. Most of the material here can be moved into the body. I can do it myself unless someone else wants to.Ekwos (talk) 08:00, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

I disagree. Certainly, I don't think that "most of the material here can be moved into the body". The lede section is already a summary of the body. Indeed, a lede section is supposed to summarise more than the synopsis. And this lede's length is perfectly normal for a Wikipedia article of Candide's length and quality. Also, the reader is supposed to be able to read only the lede and get the gist of the subject. I can't imagine a shorter lede satisfying this criterion. See WP:LEDE:

The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points...

See the bottom of that page for a general guideline on how long these sections are supposed to be. If you have any thoughts as to specific parts (e.g. a sentence or two) that are unnecessary, we can look those... but in general, I think it's fine. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 14:35, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
In the case of this particular intro, I think everything after the first sentence looks like body. A good intro should read like a really boring newspaper piece with just the basic facts (i.e. Candide is a novel written in such a language in such a year by such an author) with no intepretation and nothing else. The top blurb really exists so that a person looking for something can determine if the article itself is relevant. There can be an introductory section in the body but this should be different from the intro blurb in the article which exists solely as a referencing tool for someone looking for something.Ekwos (talk) 08:09, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
A Wikipedia article's lede section is the one section that everyone reads, and for many people the only section they read, so I doubt very much that the argument that our ledes "should read like a really boring newspaper piece" is going to carry a awful lot of weight. Ed Fitzgerald t / c 09:20, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
The main purpose of the lead is to help a reader be sure they have found the correct article for what they are looking for. So, the quicker one can make such a determination, the better.Ekwos (talk) 23:39, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
That's not the consensus across Wikipedia. See above. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 17:46, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Rmrfstar. The lead's length is ideal. This length allows the lead to provide necessary background information and makes it a good stand-alone summary of the article, which is the convention per the style guideline at WP:LEAD. Emw2012 (talk) 18:16, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Picky Points[edit]

I have two points of contention with the article.

1)At the end of the "Style" section, the following sentence: "Some view the portrayal of the Jewish merchant in Lisbon as anti-semitic; however, in Constantinople at the end, Jewish bankers alone will deal honestly with the foreign characters," does not appear to be supported by the text. In a translation of Candide by Lowell Bair, there is no reference whatsoever to Candide having been dealt honestly with by Jews, and in fact, the following passage appears on page 117 out of 120, in explanation of why Candide cannot live well despite his once great wealth: "But he had been so cheated by the Jews that he had nothing left but his little farm." If anything, Candide may not be considered antisemitic because Voltaire does not pick on Jews any more than any other ethnicity or nationality or creed throughout the book. If he must be considered antisemitic, it is only fair to consider him anti-everything else that he lampoons. But the text does not specifically support the statement given in this section.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

That sentence you mention, indeed that whole unreferenced portion, was added without any references and by an anonymous editor who seems to have gone willy-nilly and added a bunch of bad material (see the diff. I agree that the statement you highlight is not supported by the text. I have deleted all of the baseless additions of this editor.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Rmrfstar (talkcontribs)
Thanks for catching that.-- (talk) 20:09, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

2) In the Conclusion, and echoed in the Introduction, is the notion that the garden statement at the end of the book is enigmatic. It wasn't enigmatic to me or to Voltaire scholar Andre Maurois when he implies that the statement, "We must cultivate our garden" is a direct analogy to looking after those things in our life that are in our domain. What are the other views on this statement? The article isn't clear, except to source the fact that some scholars consider it a contentious conclusion, which would could simply be inferred if instead the alternative interpretations were given.-- (talk) 22:23, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Indeed, there are many readers who do not find the conclusion enigmatic. However, these readers all disagree. For views other than your own, see the sections entitled "Conclusion" and "inside/outside controversy". -- Rmrfstar (talk) 01:26, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
I suppose if I could get my wish for this article, the conclusion section would include some form of list describing the various interpretations of the ending, which could then be explained in detail below. It's difficult to read which interpretations are important and which stand in direct opposition, as opposed to when the editors are simply out to convince me that the ending is difficult to interpret. It's also difficult to believe there could be no common interpretation which would contrast with many more minor interpretations (some interpretation supported by 65% of scholars say, while other interpretations may be supported by far fewer scholars). There's a difference between saying, "No conclusion exists, but here are some guesses," and "Here are the common interpretations, but here are the notable disagreements."-- (talk) 20:09, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
The article is not out to convince you simply that the conclusion is enigmatic. I think that the variety of interpretations, and the multi-dimentional spectrum on which they lie, are very difficult to treat both completely and from a NPOV. The theories highlighted in the article are only the most popular or significant ones. I'm sorry but I don't think that any quantatative data exist that break down their relative popularities. Also, considering the conviction with which so many literary critics describe their interpretations, and taking into account the magnitude of the holy war that has been waged over the novella's conclusion, I think it's important to make clear to the reader that there is *almost* a complete lack of agreement over which basic tenets should be assumed. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 12:44, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid I can't agree that the conclusion doesn't take good space to convince me the conclusion is enigmatic (though I agree that's not all it does). I also can't agree that there isn't an NPOV way to approach the debates and I contend that there is POV expressed here by the notion that the conclusion to Candide is enigmatic in the first place. Saying so directly is tantamount to someone else saying the conclusion was obvious. The only fact that could change that is a list of disagreements important enough to warrant the enigmatic conclusion statements. The conclusion takes the first three sentences to make a point it shouldn't be making:
"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.[74]"
There is only one source for this. If the author of that source is saying that the conclusion is enigmatic, it's his opinion. Unless I see a list of other sources that agree, it cannot be taken as fact. It should be worded, "One critic finds the conclusion enigmatic," or so changed to accommodate the amount of viewpoints expressed. It is the fifth sentence into the conclusion before a viewpoint is described specifically, and even then it is clouded in a sentence that claims controversy. Here are another few troubling sentences:
"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."
What critics?
"This view is to be compared to a reading that presents Voltaire as advocating a melioristic 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.[77]"
Again, explanations couched in an explanation of the debate instead of the point. This time it's sourced, but it turns out it's the same author and book as the source for [74]! How many critics think the conclusion is enigmatic? I'm just discussing the conclusion section, the inside/outside controversy section is a bit different. I know something about literature, and I know that the conclusion to a work is important because it is often contentious. Critics/scholars will never find agreement with one another on any literary work of prominence because of the nature of literature, but more importantly because of the nature of academia. Critics/scholars make a name for themselves by disagreeing and arriving at contentious conclusions! But there are often more basic interpretations. If this section wants to take the NPOV stance that the conclusion is enigmatic, it must clearly state a number of positions and some credible adherents, or it should not take the readers time telling them the conclusion is enigmatic, as I pointed out above. If done so properly, the lack of agreement can be inferred (as indeed it should for any prominent work of literature). I can't do this because I don't have the data. The Candide article is a great one, but this is an area for improvement, as I see it.-- (talk) 20:29, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Your points are very well taken, especially that some critics should be named. However, Candide's conclusion is particularly contentious, even in the realm of literary criticism, and there are simply too many interpretations to mention more than a couple. Indeed, a couple are mentioned: the pessimistic and the melioristic. These two, if any two can, must serve as the simplist way of dichotomising the analysis of the conclusion. Indeed, they are practically opposites. Anyway, I shall look for some names and references to fill out the section. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 07:19, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

John Byng[edit]

While there is no doubt the incident was inspired by the execution of Admiral Byng, does Voltaire actually use the name? And I don't believe Byng was actually shot in the skull-- Voltaire takes some license here. Kablammo (talk) 01:13, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

All fixed. Thanks for the criticisms. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 07:02, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Amazing article[edit]

I am so astounded. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

a question, and a fairly major omission[edit]

One question, one suggestion.

Although it's been a long time since I studied Voltaire, I'm wondering whether in French literary history the work of Rabelais shouldn't be considered a precursor. As I said, long time since I studied it. But both Candide and Gargantua and Pantagruel are long episodic prose narratives written in a satiric vein within the same language tradition.

Also, it seems a major omission in the elucidation of the Garden not to at least mention Epicureanism. The meaning of the Garden in Epicurean philosophy is one of the main reasons the sentence is so wonderfully irreducible and produces so many points to ponder when you try to unpack it. The Enlightenment saw a major revival of the Epicurean philosophical tradition (Thomas Jefferson famously took an interest). Just a few examples from a superficial Google Books search: "Voltaire … thought of himself as an Epicurean" (Peter Gay, The Enlightenment); "Voltaire was probably drawn to the word jardin because it would remind readers of both the Garden of Eden and the garden of the ancient philosopher Epicurus" (David Wootton, Candide and Related Texts). It's pretty much a commonplace to view the ending of Candide in light of Epicureanism, as here; Martha Nussbaum also takes it as a given here; John Gray says that Voltaire ultimately failed to be an Epicurean, with the implication that his attempt is necessary to constructing what he ultimately meant to say with the jardin; Simone de Beauvoir alludes to the Epicureanism of Candide's garden in her essay Pyrrhus and Cineas. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:58, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like you know your stuff. What's stopping you? --Milkbreath (talk) 18:13, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
'Cause doin' a Google Books search ain't the same as doin' the deed. I can do Epicureanism in antiquity, but it would take me a week to feel comfortable trying to sum up the Enlightenment context and doing a refresher on Voltaire. Was hoping the Voltaire-savvy folks who did this article could find a way to add it gracefully. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:45, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Plot Summary too detailed?[edit]

Yeah, sorry. I mentioned this article in a discussion of plot summary length, and he now thinks that, even though the plot summary has extensive discussion of everything, he can carry out his campaign against articles on fiction discussing that fiction here. There's no policy or guideline whatsoever behind his tag, and it may and should be removed on sight. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 01:57, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

That statement is bordering between just merely severely deluded and an outright lie. You know full well that WP:NOTPLOT is a policy, as you tried unsuccessfully for months to get it deleted. If you keep editing like that policy is not there and claiming there is none you're just disrupting Wikipedia to make a WP:POINT. Edits like this and elsewhere are at the level where you should be blocked, because you can't keep pulling stunts like this. DreamGuy (talk) 16:11, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
And you know full well that WP:NOTPLOT only applies to articles where the plot is the only element there, and has nothing whatsoever to do with articles like this with substantial critical commentary. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 16:31, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Sorry Dreamguy, I agree with SH - this article has oodles of commentary and discussion and the plot takes up less than 50% of the article. Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:14, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I can understand a reluctance to encourage junk articles that consist of only a plot summary with a few opinions (one article for every book published?), however for cases such as this I believe that the detailed plot summary is justified and extremely valuable. WP:NOTPLOT does not preclude the summary in this article, and no {{plot}} tag should be added. Johnuniq (talk) 03:17, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

To be honest, the plot summary in this article seems excessive. To nitpick just one point, why mention the dervish at all? It seems very important to the article that the entirety of the plot be described. This seems excessive. Should not the article only touch on plot points of relevence to the story, and as such, only include plot points necessary to the broad story arc or that are discussed further in the article? Hipocrite (talk) 17:31, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

The decision at FAC seems to have been that it'd be misleading as to the sheer complexity of the work otherwise. Voltaire rather deliberately made the plot as complex as possible. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 17:38, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
"Voltaire made the plot as complex as possible, with multiple vignettes," covers that better than including 3 throw-away plot sentences about each vignette. I bet at least one of the scholarly works on the book mentions that. Secondly, having read the FAC, it seems to me that there was not nearly enough discussion about the plot summary to reach a strong consensus, certainly not one that is not subject to change. If you were to look at the plot summary de-novo, can you see some sections of it that could be cleaned? Hipocrite (talk) 17:47, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
To be honest, I read the book once quite some time ago, and didn't care for it. Given the amount of scholarly commentary kept within the plot summary, and given this is considered one of the most important works of French literature, I'd be uncomfortable changing what the subject's experts deemed important. In any case, edit-warring to tag a recent FA based on an idiosyncratic interpretation of policy impossible to correlate with the actual words of the policy mentioned is not appropriate. If the subject experts want to reconsider, that's quite another thing, and I make no judgement there. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 17:52, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't see a lot of scholarly commentary in the plot summary. Am I missing something? I demonstrated what kind of plot summary I would prefer in the ch1-10 section. Please review, and revert with my blessing per my edit summary if you disagree. Hipocrite (talk) 17:55, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
WP:PLOT clearly states "concise". This isn't concise. And the amount of commentary in comparison to the plot summary is frankly, minimal. Black Kite 17:58, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Be that as it may, the scenes removed in Hippocrite's edit are arguably more important than the ones kept in, if you've read the book. I think we should leave any trimming to subject experts, and they seem against trimming. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 18:02, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
The Synopsis section does not take up anywhere near majority of the article (in fact, it takes up only 26%, not including the TOC or references), so I think it falls well within the parameters of WP:NOTPLOT: "Wikipedia articles should not be: 1. Plot-only description of fictional works." With regard to being concise, I think the Synopsis also meets this condition when weighed against the rest of the article's content. Emw (talk) 18:27, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

on Hippocrite's edit[edit]

It may be details can safely be trimmed, but to remove Cunegonde's death followed by her being descovered to have survived (possibly one of the most quoted bits of the book, in my experience), to remove Pangloss' creation of optimistic interpretations, such as the one at Jacques' death, and so on serve to make the plot summary misleading. It's probably possible to do a more concise plot summary, but removing the key scenes that set up Voltaire's themes of suffering and the foolishness of optimism in an unjust, cruel world isn't the way. If anything, I'd add a tiny bit: (translation: [3]

"is it you? Is it Miss Cunegund I behold, and alive? Do I find you again in Portugal? then you have not been ravished? they did not rip open your body, as the philosopher Pangloss informed me?"

"Indeed but they did," replied Miss Cunegund; "but these two accidents do not always prove mortal."

Likewise, Hipocrite's suggestion that the dervish is not mentioned is patently ridiculous to anyone who's read the book - this is the key turning point of the novel.

Many of the instances that could be cut are made uncuttable through discussion of Voltaire's references. For instance, the paragraph

Could be cut - if it weren't for the fact that it contains two examples of the fairly constant references made throughout the book. Perhaps it should be anyway, but it shouldn't be without discussion.

In the end, Candide is as much an essay on philosophy as a novel. Cutting out all the philosophy, as is being proposed here, just does not provide an effective summary of the work.

That said, there are several points where the setup for later scenes is created, but the payoff ever arrives. We shouldn't, for example, bother mentioning the red sheep if the parody of doctors and vets - (roughly: The scientists can't decide how the sheep could have red wool, there's debates, and then, finally, the professors arbitrarily declare that the red colour of their wool could only come from blood staining it, and thus the sheep clearly had scabies, and by all rights should be very sick) - if you're not going to mention that, why bring up the sheep at all? Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 18:23, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 18:17, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
If these sections are pivotal or important, they should be examined in the text. It's been 15 years since I read the book (in english), and I am no philosopher. I defer to others as to the importance of various points, but suggest that if points are important, they would be mentioned in more than a plot summary. Hipocrite (talk) 18:20, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the plot summary is trying to include some of the philosophical anaysis and references, which makes it awkward. I'm going to go in and try and tweak it a little. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 18:23, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I've made what trims and tucks I felt could be justified, and clarified a few points. It did shorten it a little, but I don't see how much more can be cut without misrepresenting the novel's philosophic dialogue. Not everything I mentioned above proved feasible to implement - for instance, cutting Martin's introduction would make the rest of the summary have an unexplained character, but I did trim excess verbiage related to such introductions, and cut Byng. I wonder if Byng should go back in, though. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 18:44, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
And I've readded Byng, but rewrote it to mention one of the most famous quotes from the novel, "Pour l'encouragement d'les autres".
The trouble with Candide is that you can either have a plot summary of a sentence: "Candide, taught optimism by his professor Pangloss, embarks upon a voyage of discovery in which he learns the world is a horrible place, and you may as well just work hard and try not to think about it." - or you have something of this length. There just isn't a middle ground where one of the philosophical argument, tone, and famous scenes aren't lost. If you cut the opening scenes too much, you don't establish Pangloss' optimism, which misrepresents the novel. If you cut out all the suffering, where's the counterargument? Hell, as it stands, we may not be effectively representing the third part's satire of all civilised progress - science, the British Navy, etc, as foolishness. This is the problem with an episodic novel where the themes come out from the sum total of the episodes, not so much any one scene. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 19:27, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm monumentally busy but I wanted to say "thanks, great job," with the edits to the plot so far. I think there may be more to do, but I'm certain we can get it worked out. I'm glad this didn't devolve into nastyness. Hipocrite (talk) 21:25, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure it's actually significantly shorter, though. One problem was that key scenes and particularly famous scenes were given exactly the same coverage as every other scene. This meant that cutting irrelevant details had to be coupled with adding in missing highly relevant details. Key scenes were getting covered in such a way that what made them key scenes wasn't clear. I think it's at least a bit better written, which is something. I'd appreciate more help from people familiar with the work. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 21:49, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm going to cut some of the French - do we need to know the French descriptions for the brutish sailor who permanently disappears in the next scene, for instance? Does the fact that the old woman is described in the book by the French word for old woman add anything? And so on. I'll put it into ref tags for now, feel free to delete it outright. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 22:08, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

(ec) Sounds fine to me. It has been a loooong time since I read it myself too, so I am hazy on plot details meself. Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:24, 7 October 2009 (UTC)


I've removed the origins of Candide and Pangloss' names.


I just don't see any good place to put them that doesn't cause them to appear little more than trivia. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 22:22, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Awww, dunno I woulda done that. The discussion of the origin of the name of Pangloss in particulat seems pretty pertinent to the development of the character. I'd be inclined to keep. Will figure out where is a (relatively) good place. Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:27, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
PS:You're right - danged if'n I know where they should go...Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:33, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Yeah. That's the issue. I've also had to cut the long aside about Cunegonde's brother (who is likely based on Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia, with whom Voltaire corresponded.[1]).
Perhaps if we made a list of main characters? I know we don't normlly do that, but it'd help organise information like that. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 23:08, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the size and structure of the article is such that a list of characters daughter article is warranted, with the character-specific information you mention above. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:40, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Right. Oh, I also removed Cacambo's derivation from Caca. Probably should include that too. Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 23:57, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

I need to get to bed. Anyone want to make a start? Shoemaker's Holiday Over 210 FCs served 23:59, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
If I may add my thoughts to this discussion, I think that Shoemaker's Holiday's intuitions and edits have generally been very good (except a couple of little things). I also agree that the etymologies of the names (and the "la vielle") be reinserted, and that the editors who wish the synopsis be longer look over the archives of this talk page: every time the summary is shortened, someone comes along and complains about the ommision of some point. There really is a lot in the novel, despite its meagre length, and its plot summary is particularly difficult to write. I would also like to recommend strongly that no list of characters article be created. This discussion has been had before, numerous times, and the potential document was concluded to be unencyclopaedic and generally unnecessary. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 08:17, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
  1. ^ Walsh (2001)

References in popular culture[edit]

Should there be a list of a few references to Candide in popular culture, as for example in the TV programme "Sharpe's sword"?

I'm reluctant to add it myself, since it seems a little less than a scholarly way to treat such a lofty work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:54, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
I am of the opinion that adding such references would add nothing to the article: there have been too many references to the work in the past 250 years. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 03:51, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
I also see no reason for a "popular culture" section. If consensus ever did favor such a section, I would want it strictly limited to instances where a secondary source has written on the significance of the reference to Candide in the work of popular culture. Johnuniq (talk) 04:20, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Even beyond "references," I can't believe there's nothing about "Forrest Gump" in the Derivative Works section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:24, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't think the similarities are worth mentioning. In fact, the only similarity seems to be the 'simple' protagonist. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 15:13, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

External Links[edit]


I have re-activated the link to the Tailored Texts edition of 'Candide' in the original French. The edition contains over 2000+ human-made annotations made specifically for English speakers reading the original (many of whom will be using this Wikipedia page).

It is a unique resource in that it allows interactive annotations (i.e. any registered users can annotate the text and discuss them, not just the webmaster) and that the interface has been specifically designed for people reading foreign-language literature.

I have talked to EdBever about this. (talk) 14:41, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

"Monadology" not long[edit]

"A number of historical events inspired Voltaire to write Candide, most notably the publication of Leibniz's "Monadology", a long logical treatise that concludes "Therefore this is the best of all possible worlds", the Seven Years' War, and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Both of the latter catastrophes are frequently referred to in Candide and are cited by scholars as reasons for its composition.[10] The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, tsunami, 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 of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz that says all is for the best because God is a benevolent deity."

The Monadology is actually very brief, only 90 paragraphs. Many modern editions are long because about 90% of the text is commentary added by others. Also, it is a stretch to say that Leibniz thought God was a "benevolent deity." His God is perfect, so His creations are perfect. Thus, the idea that this is the best of all worlds follows logically, but it has nothing to do with God's kindness or warm feelings for humanity. The old Noslin (talk) 15:39, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

The Lego Movie as a derivative work?[edit]

At least I was reminded of Candide when I saw it. Am I alone in perceiving some parallels? knoodelhed (talk) 17:30, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

"Edenic paradise"[edit]

In the opening paragraph it is stated that Candide lives in an "Edenic paradise". I thought the irony was that, given Candide's shelteredness, what Voltaire considered a dismal part of Germany was considered the "best castle in the best province in the best of all possible worlds". BigGoyForYou (talk) 07:04, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

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