Candide by Voltaire

I read this book for the first time while at a Church summer camp, December 2012.

This is the camp video I made:

Plot and story

I really love it. It’s a short story, with abrupt twists and turns. The opening was so amusing, I felt it cold, clinical and comic. Candide suddenly in an affair, is cast out into the terrible wide world and met with many atrocities and terrible experiences. 

One of the main themes was the conflict between what his spiritual mentor teaches, that the world is the best that it could possibly ever be, and the harsh reality which seems to present the opposite – that all is not the best that it could be.

The teacher’s view is that of many religions, that even bad things can teach us things, and so, are actually good, that if things were better/ different, that things would be worse in other ways. 

Background to my life while reading

I became an atheist that year 2012, June 5th, so I was for the first time really open to read some literature that was anti-Christian or anti-religious, and I really found joy and excitement at consuming something so “dangerous” while being preached to every day by Christians at this camp.

Acquisition of the book

I got this book from an opshop in Asquith, along with another: “The life of Benvenuto Celini”  both with the same beautiful Heron Publishing binding which is the Geniva publishing company often printing in Switzerland. The Celini and Candide books were printed in 1968 and ’69 respectively. 

You can see the book cover in the following video: