Candide | Voltaire

  • Candide © 1759
  • Translated by Henry Morley © 1922
  • Barnes & Noble Classics
  • 146 pages

It’s funny how many small coincidences there are in life. I picked up this book about a year ago with good intentions, only to let it sit on a shelf until I stuffed it into a box to move to Bracebridge. I was looking for something different to read a few nights ago and stumbled across it.

In other news, I’m currently preparing to preach a series of “Meaningless Messages” on Ecclesiastes. Imagine my surprise when I realized that Candide was essentially a retelling of Ecclesiastes!

Does life have a purpose? Do we live in the best of all possible worlds? What should we do in life?

Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. (Ecclesiastes 5:18, NIV)

“Let’s work, then, without disputing,” says Martin. “It is the only way to make life bearable.” (130)

For an old classic, Candide is surprisingly readable. If you want to rethink your position on the meaning of life, this is an interesting place to start.

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