Approaches to Teaching Voltaire’s Candide

  • Editor: Renée Waldinger
  • Pages: x & 206 pp.
  • Published: 1987
  • ISBN: 9780873525046 (Paperback)
  • ISBN: 9780873525039 (Cloth)
Approaches to Teaching Voltaire's Candide Cover

“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.