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Zadig, or the Book of Fate

Zadig, or the Book of Fate by Voltaire
By: (1694-1778)

Zadig, ou La Destinée, (”Zadig, or The Book of Fate”) (1747) is a famous novel written by the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire’s own day.

The book is philosophical in nature, and presents human life as in the hands of a destiny beyond human control. It is a story of religious and metaphysical orthodoxy, both of which Voltaire challenges with his presentation of the moral revolution taking place in Zadig himself. Voltaire’s skillful use of the literary devices of contradiction and juxtaposition are shown in beautiful form in this prose. Behind Candide, it is one of his most celebrated works.

(Wikipedia)

First Page:

[Illustration]

ZADIG ;

OR, THE

Book of Fate.

AN

Oriental HISTORY,

Translated from the

French ORIGINAL

OF

Mr. VOLTAIRE .

Quo fata trahunt, retrahuntque sequamur. Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum, Tendimus in Latium. VIRG.

LONDON :

Printed for IOHN BRINDLEY, Bookseller to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales , in New Bond Street .

MDCCXLIX.

THE

DEDICATION

TO THE

SULTANA SHERAA ,

BY

SADI .

The 18th of the Month Scheval , in the Year of the Hegira , 837.

Thou Joy of ev'ry Eye! Thou Torment of every Heart! Thou Intellectual Light! I do not kiss the Dust of thy Feet; because thou seldom art seen out of the Seraglio, and when thou art, thou walkest only on the Carpets of Iran , or on Beds of Roses.

I here present you with a Translation of the Work of an ancient Sage , who having the Happiness of living free from all Avocations, thought proper, by Way of Amusement, to write the History of Zadig ; a Performance, that comprehends in it more Instruction than, 'tis possible, you may at first be aware of... Continue reading book >>


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