Saturday, July 14, 2012

Book Review . . . Candide by Voltaire

For years I have had this book on my shelves and as we were leaving for the airport last week I grabbed it quickly and thought I should give it a try.  I have just completed the book on Catherine the Great and read about her correspondence with Voltaire so thought I may get some enjoyment out of reading one of his books.

It was interesting to find the story of a young man, believing himself to be a philosopher, who traveled the world with friends and lovers. He had the idea that he was living in the best of all possible worlds only to return to Europe and settle down finally.

The last sentence of the book sums up what he found.  "All things are not so well with us here..., but yet they are pretty well."

My heart goes out to people who have no foundation for their lives, people who drift and yearn for something better all the time not realizing ever what that hollow spot in their hearts is all about.

And then I remembered a song . . .

I have long been a fan of Kris Kristoffersen and wondered about the lyrics in some of his songs.  He has one called "Best of All Possible Worlds", so I went to trusty You-Tube.  There you can find a record of him singing the song as a young man.  The song is fast paced and sung with vim and vigour but you can also hear it sung by Mr. Kristoffersen recently when he has many miles behind him.

I also realized that Mr. Kristoffersen was an English major and professor of English Literature before  he composed so many songs...he probably read 'Candide' and you can see how the two go together.

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