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Approaches to Teaching Voltaire's Candide

Editor(s): Renée Waldinger

Pages: x & 206 pp.
Published: 1987
ISBN: 9780873525046 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873525039 (hardcover)

"A marvelous sourcebook of philosophies and approaches, materials, information, and teaching ideas which can be useful to an enormously wide audience--nonspecialists as well as dix-huitièmistes, graduate teaching assistants as well as senior professors."
Modern Language Journal

"The essays here provide an excellent stimulation for rethinking and rediscovering Candide."
L'Esprit Créateur


"Candide is probably the most frequently taught work of French literature," writes Renée Waldinger, yet "students are often misled by the apparent simplicity of the tale." The challenge for the teacher, then, is to guide student reading in a way that reveals the richness of the text and the depth of its comic aspect. Responding to this challenge, twenty-four experienced teachers of Candide offer their reflections on the tale, examine its humor, provide crucial historical and philosophical background information, review varying interpretations, and discuss specific teaching strategies.

The volume, like others in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, "Materials," surveys essential references, including critical and biographical studies and works on historical and intellectual contexts, and evaluates French and English language editions of Candide. In the second part, "Approaches," teachers describe how they present Voltaire's classic work, offering practical ideas for a variety of disciplines and on different levels, from freshman writing courses to graduate seminars.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Voltaire's Candide

PART 1: MATERIALS
Renée Waldinger

The Voltaire Project

French Editions

English Translations

Bibliographies

Biographies

Historical and Intellectual Background

Critical Studies

Audiovisual Aids

PART 2: APPROACHES

Introduction

Approaching the Text

The Modernity of Candide
Patrick Henry

Candide as a Literary Form
Clifton Cherpack

Interpolated Narrative in Voltaire's Candide
John C. O'Neal

Centering Candide
Frederick M. Keener

Voltaire's Candide: Distortion in the Age of Reason
Suzanne L. Pucci

The Voyage in Candide
Ruth Plaut Weinreb

Specific Approaches to Teaching Candide

Interpreting Candide: The Anvil of Controversy
Theodore E. D. Braun

A Three-Tiered Approach to Candide
Anthony R. Pugh

On Teaching the Ironical Satire of Candide
Cassandra Mabe

A Tale in Five Acts
Janet T. Letts

Candide in a World Literature Course
Mary Lee Archer

Candide in a History Survey Course
Jeremy Popkin

The Names in Candide
Paul Sawyer

Voltaire's Candide and Bernstein's Candide: Teaching through Comparison
Patricia Murphy

Using Candide in a Reading and Writing Course for Freshmen
Ann W. Engar

Adolescents Encounter Voltaire: Candide as an Eighth-Grade History Text
Ralph Engelman

Teaching the Humor in Candide

Candide as Comic Conte
James Andreas

The Comic Writing in Candide
Jean Sareil

Candide: The Dubious Wisdom of Satire
Herbert Josephs

Teaching the Backgrounds

Candide in the Context of Voltaire's Work
Otis Fellows

Some Aspects of the Philosophical Background of Candide
Richard A. Brooks

Intellectual Ideas Raised in Candide
Jean A. Perkins

Candide: Or, Comedy in Utopia
Oscar A. Haac

Candide as History: The Iberian-American Infrastructure
Paul Ilie

Works Cited

Index




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