A girl’s got to read, this all Clutchettes know. So, to help navigate the ever-expanding world of books, Uptown Literati is here to provide a weekly reading list. We’re a fresh, book blog for cool girls and great reads (check us out on our site [uptownliterati.com] ) and we’ll be dishing on what you need to be reading now: classic tomes, sassy fiction, juicy tell-alls and every type of paperback in between. Happy reading!
Who: 18th century writer and all-around Renaissance man, Voltaire.
What: Voltaire’s short literary classic, Candide. The novel synthesizes the main conflicts that brewed and erupted during the Enlightenment of the 18th Century: reason vs. rationalization. Using satire, Voltaire mocks the sort of blissful optimism and hypocrisy among the Church that explained any tragedy as being “for the good of all things”, even if that tragedy happened to an innocent person. Voltaire challenges this notion by creating a kind-hearted and naïve young protagonist, Candide, who lives in a castle with little to no worries and represents the Every Man. Voltaire allows a steady stream of unfortunate and absurd events to befall him and several “innocent” characters, each one more catastrophic than the last. All for the sake of mocking the Church’s favor towards rationalization.
Why: A quick and sharp read, Voltaire’s straightforward prose will leave you exhilarated and provoked, perhaps curious to dig back into those dusty text books on 18th Century European society. Encounter a cross section of people on every rung of the ladder in society who in some way endure unspeakable misfortune, with Voltaire demanding of the Church all the while, “Is this really for the good of all things?” We’re just waiting for a director to adapt a dramatic screenplay of this classic.
Rating: 5 stars