Publisher: Thought Audio
Date: January 2007
Duration: 4 hours 33 minutes
Candide is a delightful story filled with boundless misadventure while tackling the great philosophical issues of the Enlightenment era. The story is about Candide, a young man who is the illegitimate nephew of a German baron with whom he resides. Candide is being tutored by Doctor Pangloss on philosophical optimism, the idea that "all is for the best . . . in this best of all worlds." Candide, a simple man, first accepts this philosophy, but when it is discovered he is kissing the baron's beautiful daughter he is thrown from the Baron's castle. As he experiences the horrors of war, poverty, the maliciousness of man, and the hypocrisy of the church, he begins to doubt the voracity of Pangloss's theory.
Obviously, Voltaire is poking fun at Leibniz, Pope and others who assail that the world created by God was the best possible of all worlds with perfect order and reason, as spoken through the greatest of all fictional philosophers, Pangloss. We find Candide's life experiences at complete odds with a neatly ordered world, instead finding an utterly disutopian world of misadventure, outlandish coincidence, violence and naiveté. As you listen to segments of Candide, take the time to research both the book and Voltaire to gain a richer understanding of the themes interlaced throughout the book.