Zadig. Short but Sweet.

After hearing numerous positive comments by my pastor over the last few years about Voltaire’s writings, I decided to actually read some. A few months ago I picked up a small volume in the Konemann classics series that had Voltaire’s Zadig and Candide. So, I pulled it out and read Zadig (only because it came first in the book before Candide).

The book is set back in ancient Babylonia. It is fiction about a very wise fellow named Zadig, who experience a great deal of misfortune but some blessing. I won’t say any more so as not to spoil the plot.

Perhaps the strangest thing is how it is laid out. The entire story is done in very short chunks. The 21 chapters of this less than 100 page book average about 3-4 a chapter, with each chapter being its own discrete little unit. I wonder if Voltaire did this to give it the air of ancient literature, since the chapters of most ancient literature seem to be chopped up fairly small by modern editors. I’m interested in any other theories about this that anyone has to offer.

All in all, I very much enjoyed it. It was a very fast read, or it seemed to be. This might be because of all the little chapters. Anyway, I recommend it.


Kirk H. Sowell 2005-08-08 10:45:00

Your pastor is eccentric. Voltaire hated Christianity.

Eric Sowell 2005-08-08 05:28:00

Yes indeed. It is his skill in writing, especially his wit, that he most admires. He’s a literature buff.