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Candide – Voltaire

Candide by Voltaire


I was never really interested in this book. I know it’s a popular satire, but the only reason that I got my hands on this is the constant egging of a past flame. He loves this book so much; it was all that he could rant about every time our conversations steered towards literature.

So when I made my weekly second-hand book store tour, I made a mental note to buy me a copy as long as it was cheaper than most books. And voilà! I had myself a copy. Seeing that it had only a few pages, I went ahead to read it.

Did I like it as much as my previous flame did? Did I share his sentiments about the book?

The Rhapsody

I didn’t. I liked it while I was reading it, but that’s it. I couldn’t even remember what it was really about. All I know is that Candide was always in some sort of adventure, meeting various people who were always more, and extremely, unfortunate than him.

I mentioned it is a satire. I only found that out while I was looking for an accompanying photo. But yes, it was funny. Aren’t satires supposed to give you some laughs?

Anyway, one thing I remember here is the old woman whom Candide met. I think they were exchanging their life stories. With every misfortune that Candide mentioned, there was always a rebuttal from the old woman in the form of a worse misfortune. This should remind us that someone else in the world is suffering more than we do. So enough with the drama, although it is hard to do so. Appreciate what you have. Hope for the best. Trust yourself. The only question then is who is the worst sufferer of us all.

The characters here are at either end of the luck spectrum. I found this a little annoying because it’s hard to imagine the events in the book happening in real life. However, since this is a satire, it is forgivable.

Because this book is so economical and since it was read way back in my college freshman years, that’s all I could remember.

2 star - it was okFinal Notes

One thing I learned from reading Candide is to never read a book that is recommended by your lover. If you are the carefree type, do not listen to me. But if you are the unforgiving, eternally bitter, and constantly brooding over the past, then hear me out.

Every time I see a copy of this book, the image of my ex is summoned immediately. He is nice, smart, artistic, but he is too insecure and self-destructive. He would always get paranoid that I’d dump him because his looks are rather inferior. He would always threaten me to kill himself. And me, the irresolute me, the martyr me, I’d always hush him.

Looking back, I felt that I was psychologically battered. It was a tumultuous relationship. It ended when I changed my mobile phone number. We never heard from each other then, but I am always curious about his whereabouts. I hope he’s doing better now.

I have a feeling that he didn’t really read Candide, I mean read it in the truest sense of reading. What is the true sense of reading then? I think it’s reading the text, enjoying yourself with the beauty of prose, and then thinking about the meaning of it. I guess he really didn’t think about the content because otherwise, he would have realized that he was not the lowest of all the beings here on earth. He was really well-off, to tell you the truth, but he’s perpetually self-deprecating.

I hope you get the drift when I’m saying not to buy other’s recommendations. Besides, you know yourself best. You know what you like, so there’s really no sense asking what to read next. You can receive a hundred recommendations, but in the end, it is still you who will spend some time with a book of your choice.

Well, that’s just me. Ask me for recommendations, I’ll ask for the books that you read. I will give my recommendations then based on your answer. I will try to remember the books that I read and enjoyed and learned something from. And even though I no longer remember Candide as it should be, I remember it in my own special and tender ways.


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