Use, do not abuse; as the wise man commands. I flee Epictetus and Petronius alike. Neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy. The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
The Philosopher as Critic and Public Activist Voltaire only began to identify himself with philosophy and the philosophe identity during middle age.
His work Lettres philosophiques, published in when he was forty years old, was the key turning point in this transformation. His early orientation toward literature and libertine sociability, however, shaped his philosophical identity in crucial ways. But in each case, he ended up abandoning his posts, sometimes amidst scandal.
Escaping from the burdens of these public obligations, Voltaire would retreat into the libertine sociability of Paris. It was here in the s, during the culturally vibrant period of the Regency government between the reigns of Louis XIV and XV —that Voltaire established one dimension of his identity.
His wit and congeniality were legendary even as a youth, so he had few difficulties establishing himself as a popular figure in Regency literary circles. He also learned how to play the patronage game so important to those with writerly ambitions. His literary debut occurred in with the publication of his Oedipe, a reworking of the ancient tragedy that A life and works of voltaires the French classicism of Racine and Corneille.
Its published title page also announced the new pen name that Voltaire would ever after deploy. During the Regency, Voltaire circulated widely in elite circles such as those that congregated at Sceaux, but he also cultivated more illicit and libertine sociability as well.
Philosophy was also a part of this mix, and during the Regency the young Voltaire was especially shaped by his contacts with the English aristocrat, freethinker,and Jacobite Lord Bolingbroke. The occasion for his departure was an affair of honor.
A very powerful aristocrat, the Duc de Rohan, accused Voltaire of defamation, and in the face of this charge the untitled writer chose to save face and avoid more serious prosecution by leaving the country indefinitely.
In the spring oftherefore, Voltaire left Paris for England. Bolingbroke, whose address Voltaire left in Paris as his own forwarding address, was one conduit of influence.
In particular, Voltaire met through Bolingbroke Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and John Gay, writers who were at that moment beginning to experiment with the use of literary forms such as the novel and theater in the creation of a new kind of critical public politics. After Bolingbroke, his primary contact in England was a merchant by the name of Everard Fawkener.
It also included figures such as Samuel Clarke and other self-proclaimed Newtonians. Given his other activities, it is also likely that Voltaire frequented the coffeehouses of London even if no firm evidence survives confirming that he did.
It would not be surprising, therefore, to learn that Voltaire attended the Newtonian public lectures of John Theophilus Desaguliers or those of one of his rivals. Whatever the precise conduits, all of his encounters in England made Voltaire into a very knowledgeable student of English natural philosophy.
But he was also a different kind of writer and thinker. But the English years did trigger a transformation in him.
After his return to France, Voltaire worked hard to restore his sources of financial and political support. The financial problems were the easiest to solve. Inthe French government staged a sort of lottery to help amortize some of the royal debt. Voltaire participated, and in the fall of that year when the returns were posted he had made a fortune.It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism by his mentor, Another element of the satire focuses on what William F.
Bottiglia, author of many published works on Candide, calls the "sentimental foibles of the age" and Voltaire's attack on them. Jan Greve and his pride and joy, Tjungske. This young stallion is by the great Carthago, out of a mare by Dr Greve’s English thoroughbred stallion, Julio Mariner, who was in turn out of Kwiggy, who twice descends from Dr Greve’s foundation mare, Twiggy.
"Voltaire's Bastards is a hand grenade disguised as a book. The pages explode with insight, style, and intellectual rigor [This book] will leave you challenged, intrigued, and at times troubled."--Jim Hoagland, The Washington Post. If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?
Even in those cities which seem to enjoy the blessings of peace, and where the arts florish, the inhabitants are devoured by envy, cares and anxieties, which are greater plagues than any experienced in a town when it is under siege.
August 8th, pfmlures.com shop, The Lair of Voltaire! Cementing his status as a social media influencer, Aurelio Voltaire was recently invited to open his own pfmlures.com shop and join the Amazon influencer program. At the end of the 19th century, though conservative critics remained hostile, scientific research into his life and works was given impetus by Gustave Lanson.
Voltaire himself did not hope that all his vast quantity of writings would be remembered by posterity.