Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Lunchtime read: Candide

Those people who like dictionary definitions get one from Voltaire on optimism with Candide having to explain it to a man with only one leg and arm.

"'What is optimism?' asked Cacambo.
'It's the passion for maintaining that all is right when all goes wrong with us,' replied Candide."

Highlights from chapters XVIII to XX

* Having decided to leave Eldorado the King gives his consent and loads up Candide and his servant with gems and wealth which should make them rich when they return to the normal world

* They travel until finding a Dutch town and Candide sends his servant to entice Lady Cunegonde to come back while he tries to get passage to Venice but he is so willing to pay over the odds the Dutch captain rumbles he has money and steals his luggage

* Trying for a second time on board a French boat Candide pays for a companion and chooses an old scholar - Martin - who holds a different view from his own believing the world is essentially evil

* As if tyo prove his point they sail past a battle at sea and the same captain who conned Candide is sunk and revenge for the theft Martin suggests is complete

More tomorrow...

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