Candide, or Optimism (1759) written by Voltaire, the shining star of the French Enlightenment, is a biting, hilarious and frequently outrageous satire that pokes philosophical fun at -- of all things -- the doctrine of optimism. Candide is a naïve youth stubbornly adhering to the notion that 'all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds,' despite being cast into a flood of misfortunes and picaresque misadventures that take him around the world. Whether Candide and optimism itself emerges unscathed in the end, hinges upon his own deceptively simple words: 'let us cultivate our garden.
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