This edition: Voltaire: Candide
Does Candide simply recreate "Job in modern dress," as Frederick the Great asserted? What is the theme of Candide ? What is Voltaire's attitude toward metaphysical speculation? What is the role of "work" in Candide ? The lesson focuses on the symbolic concept of "garden" in the work, and discussion touches on the three types of "gardens" (ways of life) that rapidly succeed one another toward the end of the work. The class contemplates Candide as a work that exemplifies humankind's traditional existential dilemma: How does one find meaning in a mad, evil world and create a meaningful existence within it?
Featured interview: Professor Robert Morrissey (University of Chicago)