Jews in Voltaire's Candide.
Usually, scholars quote from Voltaire's corpus of erudite, semi-scholarly writings, such as the Essai Sur Les Moeurs and the Dictionnaire Philosophique, his multi-volume Correspondance, and obscure pamphlets that focus particularly on the Jewish religion's shortcomings and the violent, barbaric history of the Jewish people as literally depicted in the Old Testament, to reveal his irrational prejudice against the so-called Chosen People. Occasionally, however, Voltaire's well-known masterpiece, Candide, is brought into the argument to "prove" the ubiquity of his antipathy toward the Jews.
Briefly discussing Voltaire in his essay, "The Attitude of the Enlightenment Towards the Jew," using Candide as an example, Paul H. Meyer concluded that the sage of Ferney's animosity against Jews was appalling and unremitting. Meyer asserts:
A great deal has been written on the specific issue of Voltaire's attitude to the Jews, and neither the fact that his hostility did primarily serve as a protective screen behind which he could attack the Roman Catholic Church with relative impunity, nor the thesis that he was genuinely repelled by the instances of primitive ferocity found in the Old Testament, will completely explain either the irrelevance of the numerous gratuitous aspersions cast on the Jews as individuals, as in Candide, or his frequent and deliberate distortions of the facts related in the Bible. There is no question but that Voltaire, particularly in his latter years, nursed a violent hatred of the Jews and it is equally certain that his animosity...did have a considerable impact on public opinion in France. (Meyer 1177)
Similarly, Arnold Ages, who has written numerous indignant attacks on Voltaire's Anti-Semitism, based on selections from diverse sources, points out: "His Lettres philosophiques, Dictionnaire philosophique, and Candide, to name but a few of his better known works, are saturated with comments on Jews and Judaism and the vast majority are negative" (361).
However, a closer examination of Candide makes evident that, for Voltaire as for most philosophes, Jews, like Frenchmen, Englishmen, and myriad other groups, embodied what David Hume, one of the age's leading thinkers, referred to as the "constant and universal principles of human nature," no more, no less (Hume 93). As Voltaire put it in his Examen Important de Milord Bolingbroke, "Nowadays, in Rome, in London, in Paris, in all the great cities, in place of religion, as in Alexandria from the time of the Emperor Hadrian, as the letter to Sevarius, written from Alexandria, asserts: 'All have only one God; Christians, Jews, and all the others, adore it with the same ardor: it is money.'" After quoting this statement, Voltaire scholar Pierre Aubery notes that "the Jews of his time were indeed very similar in their values and behaviour to Christians and other people whose values and behaviour were, for the most part, far from admirable" (Aubery 181-182).
Surprisingly, none of Voltaire's defenders against charges of anti-Semitism have paid any attention to how Jews are actually depicted in his greatest work, Candide. This may be because the broad humor of the conte makes it hard to take its ideas about race and ethnicity seriously. Although Jews are not prominent in the conte, a careful reader can get a good idea of Voltaire's opinion of Jews in relation to other ethnic or religious groups. He is generally more sympathetic to them than he is to Roman Catholic priests, Dutch businessmen, Italian landlords, Turkish ship captains, Spanish governors of Buenos Aires, and other ethnic and racial groups mentioned in the tale.
In Candide as in most of his writing, Voltaire's opinion of human nature is low. He finds despicable most societies, governments, and religions, which persecute and kill minority groups or individuals that disagree with them, and then confiscate their wealth. Indeed, compared with Candide's depiction of other races and religious groups, the Jews come off quite well. When a group of Peruvian Indians, under the impression that Candide is a Jesuit, prepares to cannibalistically eat him for dinner, Cacambo, Candide's Latin-American valet and partner in sharing El Dorado's riches, pithily observes, "The law of nations teaches us to kill our neighbor and this is how people behave all over the world" (Voltaire 270-271). Many of the characters who appear in Candide are more odious than the Jews. The Batavia-born sailor (of unclear nationality) who assaults the good Dutch Anabaptist Jacques and looks on when he is thrown overboard, then searches for prostitutes in Lisbon's wreckage (240-241), is far more vicious than the Jews in the conte. As for the Franciscan friar who steals Cunegonde's jewels when she and Candide are in flight to Cadiz, and the Benedictine friar who bought her horse "very cheap" (251), Candide's secularized Jewish merchants are more honest and generous than these Roman Catholic monks.
Jews first appear in chapter six of the conte, in the famous scene in which, in order to appease God's wrath, two Jews are arrested and burned at the stake by the Portuguese Inquisition in an auto-da-fe following the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. Perhaps in order to increase the sense of the absurdity of the atrocity perpetrated against the Jews because of their race and religion, Voltaire initially refers to them only as "two Portuguese who, when eating a chicken, had pulled off the fat [lard]" (242). (2) He soon informs us, "the two men who had not wanted to eat bacon were burned" (243).
The two executed Jews are first identified as such in chapter 8, when Candide's lover Cunegonde describes her attendance at an auto-da-fe at the invitation of one of her paramours, the Grand Inquisitor, who ordered the Jews, a Biscayan, and Pangloss burned at the stake (although Pangloss is hanged instead when a rainstorm quells the fire), and Candide whipped. She says, "I was indeed horror-stricken when I saw the burning of the two Jews" (247). Although Voltaire's objective narrator eschews outrage, in a sense Cunegonde speaks for him, in one of her most emotional moments. (3) In this scene, Jews are depicted as tragic, persecuted beings.
The most prominent Jewish character in Candide is Don Issacar (or Issachar), the Portuguese merchant-banker who purchased Cunegonde from the Bulgarian captain who captured her in the attack on Castle Thunder-ten-tronkh. Although in some respects Don Issacar's presence in the conte is ludicrous, we learn enough about him to infer that, like Candide and the murdered Jews, he has suffered at the hands of the Roman Catholic Inquisition personified by the Grand Inquisitor, who greatly outdoes him in villainy.
Cunegonde supplies us all the information we have about Don Issacar. Although she is virtually Issacar's slave, so far as we are told he treats her well and does not sexually abuse her. As a member of the Jewish race (though in no way religiously observant), Don Issacar is denied most civil rights, including that of having a Christian woman for a mistress, despite his (probably spurious) title of nobility. Thus, the Grand Inquisitor, who is also infatuated with Cunegonde, easily forces him to share her with him. The Inquisitor pays the Jew nothing for this privilege, although Don Issacar alone takes care of Cunegonde's physical needs and provides the country house where both men court her. Somewhat like Shakespeare's Shylock, Don Issacar suffers discrimination and is treated unjustly despite his wealth. This contributes to the bitterness he vents in the few words he speaks in the conte before Candide kills him.
In need of money, and bored with Cunegonde, the Bulgarian captain who enslaved her sold her to the Jew Don Issacar (the latter's name is also the moniker of the fifteenth son of Jacob and Leah in the Old Testament, a founder of one the original Twelve Tribes of Israel). (4) Don Issacar traded in Holland and Portugal. With a passion for women, the Jew was kind, even subservient to Cunegonde. He "devoted himself " to her, although she refused to submit to his advances (246-247). Unlike the Bulgarian soldier, the more civilized Don Issacar never raped her. He tolerates her resistance, at least temporarily. Moreover, his servant La Vieille, despite her loquaciousness throughout the conte, never disparages him as a cruel master.
Eventually, in order to convince Cunegonde to become more accommodating (pour m'apprivoiser), Don Issacar brought her to a country house he owned. She was much impressed by its decor: "I had believed, up till then, that there was nothing on earth so beautiful as the chateau of Thunder-ten-tronckh. I was undeceived [detrompee]," she admits (247). Nevertheless, she assures Candide she has resisted the Jew's blandishments.
The stalemate persists until the Grand Inquisitor, who later orders the two Jews burned and has Candide whipped, notices Cunegonde. He ogles her at Mass--hardly an appropriate activity for a high prelate--and takes her to his palace, pretending he wants to talk to her about secret affairs. When she tells him she is a German noblewoman, he observes that it was much below her rank "to be the kept woman of a Jew [appartenir a un Israelite] (Pomeau 110)." The Grand Inquisitor sends his intermediaries to propose that Don Issacar give Cunegonde up to him, but Don Issacar, the court banker and a man of influence despite his Jewish background, flatly refuses. Aware of Don Issacar's racial Achilles heel, the Inquisitor, by threatening to have him burned at the stake, intimidates him into agreeing to a deal whereby the Jew's country-house, as well as Cunegonde, would belong to them in common. The Jew would reside there with her on Mondays, Wednesdays, and the "Sabbath day"--only three days, despite his actual ownership of the house and the woman--while the other four days would belong to the Grand Inquisitor. This tenuous arrangement had so far lasted for six months, during which the Jew and the Inquisitor had argued over who enjoyed the night hours between Saturday and Sunday morning, which threatened to whittle down Don Issacar's time still further. (5) Like Candide, Don Issacar was deprived of the pleasure of Cunegonde's company by the society's hegemonic powers. (Although Cunegonde assured Candide she had not been sexually intimate with either worthy, opining that this had kept their obsession with her strong, hints conveyed by La Vieille indicate that her statements may not be true.)
Finally, to further intimidate Don Issacar into surrendering all his rights to Cunegonde, and hoping to forestall the occurrence of another Lisbon earthquake, the Grand Inquisitor announced an auto-da-fe, and "honored" Cunegonde with an invitation to attend. She was given an excellent seat, and along with other ladies was served refreshments in the intermission between the Mass and the executions. Appalled by the killing of the two Jews, she fainted when she saw her old tutor Pangloss hanged and a nude Candide flagellated, events which she felt refuted Pangloss's dictum that this was the best of all possible worlds. She secretly reviles the Grand Inquisitor for the evil acts that shatter her formerly optimistic world view, telling Candide that, after he was whipped, she pondered: "How does it happen that the charming Candide and the wise Pangloss are in Lisbon, the one to receive a hundred lashes, and the other to be hanged, by order of My Lord the Inquisitor, whose darling I am?" (248).
Painfully aware of the atrocities committed by her lover the Grand Inquisitor, Cunegonde, while negatively depicting "mon vilain don Issacar," more pointedly denounces "mon abominable inquisiteur" (Pomeau 112). She seemingly depicts the Roman Catholic more unfavorably than the Jew, since in the French language, abominable connotes heinousness, foulness, and loathsomeness, while vilain is generally translated as "nasty" or "unpleasant." To the extent that Cunegonde voices Voltaire's views, we must consider him as foregoing any particularly injurious accusations against Jews as compared with non-Jewish figures in the novel.
When Don Issacar arrives, probably around midnight on Saturday night/Sunday morning, to "enjoy his rights and to express his tender love" (249) to Cunegonde, he finds her on the sofa talking with Candide (or perhaps love-making, the conte is not clear which). In chapter nine, he is introduced as "le plus colerique Hebreu qu'on eu-t vu dans Israel depuis la captivite en Babylone" (Pomeau 114). He utters a few justifiably angry words: "'What!'" said he. 'Bitch of a Galilean, isn't it enough to have the Inquisitor? Must this scoundrel share with me too?'" (249). Thus, Don Issacar is painfully aware of Cunegonde's non-Jewish (gentile or "Galilean") status, whereas his Jewishness makes it possible for the Grand Inquisitor to treat him with contempt and exploit his "property"--Cunegonde and his summer house. (6) Such abuse undoubtedly increases Don Issacar's hostility to Christians.
Don Issacar is unheroic but impetuous. The narrator tells us that, after his hot-tempered remarks, he lunges at Candide: "He drew a long dagger, which he always carried and, thinking that his adversary was unarmed, threw himself upon Candide." He did not know that La Vieille, Cunegonde's servant and Issacar's employee, had given Candide an "excellent sword... along with his suit of clothes," when she visited his hovel to put balm on his wounds after the Inquisitors flagellated him, whereupon Candide kills the Jew. (7)
Don Issacar's death goes unlamented. Although he provided Cunegonde with the roof over her head, she merely exclaims: "What will become of us? A man killed in my house! If the police come we are lost" (249). Fortuitously, the Grand Inquisitor, having arrogated Saturday night/Sunday morning to himself, thus leaving Don Issacar only Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday's daylight hours, arrives an hour after midnight on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Candide, who hates him for ordering him whipped, executing Pangloss, and courting Cunegonde, instantly kills him.
The Grand Inquisitor appears far more brutal and nefarious than Don Issacar. This is appropriate to Voltaire's ideology, for he hated the infame of tyrannical Roman Catholic religious establishments that suppressed human freedom far more than what he conceived of as provincial-minded, ignorant, money-grubbing Jews, who were after all like most everybody else in these respects, not sadistically, unconscionably seeking to deprive other human beings of their pursuit of happiness and freedom like the Grand Inquisitor and his ilk.
The aftermath of Candide's murders also indirectly bespeaks Voltaire's greater sympathy for the Jew: When the Grand Inquisitor's henchmen, too late to save their confrere, arrive at Don Issacar's house, the dispassionate narrator describes the disposal of the dead men's bodies: "My Lord was buried in a splendid church and Issacar was thrown into a sewer" (250). Just like his body, Issacar's honorific title ("don") has entered the sewage of oblivion. Yet for Voltaire--who despised the tyranny embedded in "splendid churches," and one of whose lovers, Adrienne Lecouvreur (1692-1730), a famous Parisian actress the Catholic Church denied proper burial, depositing her corpse in potter's field because of her "sacrilegious" vocation--a Lisbon sewer may have been a more honorable interment. (8)
The malevolent Dutch merchant, ship captain and slave-holder Vanderdendur, who lives in Dutch Guiana (Surinam), is likewise far more vicious than any of the Jews. (9) Perhaps Voltaire intended him to serve as a brutish foil to another Dutchman who plays a significant part in the story, the "good Anabaptist" Jacques. (10) He thereby balances a "good" with a "bad" Hollander, in pursuit of his idea that race or ethnicity does not unvaryingly determine the goodness or evil of one's "human nature," whether one is Spanish (the Governor of Buenos Aires is particularly evil), Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Jewish, Moslem or Christian. The Negro slave whose leg Vanderdendur has cut off because he tried to escape has experienced perhaps even greater malevolence from his own parents, who initially sold him into slavery (282). Compared with Vanderdendur and the slave's African mother and father (who do not appear in the conte), Candide's Jews are kind.
Indeed, one of Candide's recurring themes is that most people, certainly not only Jews, are evil. Candide naively implies this underlying message several times in the tale. For instance, early in the conte he tells Cacambo, "Venice... is a free country where there is nothing to fear from Bulgarians, Abares, Jews, or Inquisitors" (283). (That he had thus far met only a kind-hearted Hollander, the Anabaptist Jacques, and has not yet encountered the Dutch Surinam merchant, ship captain and slaveholder Vanderdendur, the meanest person in the book, may account for his omitting the Dutch from this list).
At the same time, Candide reveals that he is not especially virtuous. Although he "shed tears" after speaking with the mutilated slave in Surinam, the knowledge that CaptainVanderdendur is the sadistic slaveholder who perpetrated this act does not deter Candide from hiring Vanderdendur to transport him to Venice a few minutes later and agreeing to pay the exorbitant fee he demands. When Vanderdendur (in an instance of poetic justice) steals Candide's sheep, bearing the gold, diamonds and emeralds he had picked up in El Dorado, and a corrupt judge defrauds Candide by a more subtle form of robbery, Candide experiences his most cynical and depressing moment: "This behavior reduced Candide to despair; he had indeed endured misfortunes a thousand times more painful; but the calmness of the judge and of the captain who had robbed him, stirred up his bile and plunged him into a black melancholy. The malevolence of men revealed itself to his mind in all its ugliness; he entertained only gloomy ideas" (284-285). By contrast, the Jews he dealt with at least gave him some kind of service in exchange for funds received rather than blatantly rob him.
Ironically, in the final chapters 28-30 of the novel, Jews are the vehicles of Candide's secular salvation. The money they provide enables him to buy a small farm at Constantinople and begin a new, more productive life, in which he will rely for his well-being on his own activity rather than the largesse of a mean-spirited Baron or precious jewels he finds in the streets of El Dorado. Needing funds to ransom Pangloss and the young Baron, both enslaved on a Turkish galley, upon landing in Constantinople Candide prefers to sell his diamonds to a Jewish banker rather than to Moslems--whose duplicity and intolerance Voltaire had earlier stridently denounced in a mediocre play, Mahomet the Prophet; or Fanaticism (1741)--or Christians, apparently believing Jews would treat him more fairly. As the novel informs us, "They [Candide, Martin and Cacambo] sent for a Jew, and Candide sold him for fifty thousand sequins a diamond worth a hundred thousand, for which he swore by Abraham he could not give any more. The ransom of the Baron and Pangloss was immediately paid" (319).
The Jewish merchant is humorously depicted as a shyster who gives Candide only fifty percent of what the diamond is worth. However, by comparison with the Christians he has encountered, who blatantly steal his wealth without paying him anything, and the Moslem Turkish ship captain, who dubs him a "dog of a Christian," and who, like the deposed Sultan who owned his friend Cacambo, charges him an exorbitant ransom for Pangloss and the Baron, the Jew is a model of civility, fairness and good will. In any case, Candide had picked up the jewels gratuitously from the pavement of El Dorado, so in a sense the Jew is giving him something for nothing. Jews are the only people in the novel to pay him money for what might be considered unearned wealth. In Paris, venal police officers, French priests, and prostitutes had stolen his money, along with a person hiding behind a screen, pretending to be his lover Cunegonde.
Thanks to Jewish bankers, Candide acquires the funds to ransom Cacambo, the Baron and Pangloss from the brutish Turks. Again, in order to obtain money to buy passage on a ship and ransom Cunegonde, who is the slave of a prince of Transylvania exiled to Constantinople among the Turks (320), Candide seeks the services of Jews, whom he knows to be more honest than Moslems and Christians, who abound in Constantinople. As in the previous case, he "immediately sent for two Jews; Candide sold some more diamonds; and they all set out in another galley to rescue Cunegonde" (319).
Ironically, the conniving Jewish merchants, signifying the salutary social consequences of economic self-interest, are in a sense responsible for the conte's relatively happy ending. By purchasing Candide's diamonds (even at bargain prices), they provide the capital he employs to liberate his friends and lover from Moslem enslavement. Paradoxically, the Jews' monetary gain benefits humanity, epitomized by Candide and his group, lending the "invisible hand" that Adam Smith delineated in The Wealth of Nations in1776.
Indeed, the Jews' money providentially enables Candide to buy the "little farm" he and his friends settle at the conte's conclusion, which provides a possibility of future contentment (322). As the narrator informs us, Candide's efforts to sell his last few diamonds resulted in him being "so cheated by the Jews that he had nothing left but his little farm" (324). Compelled to live a hand-to-mouth existence as a result of Jewish merchants' profit-maximizing behavior, Candide and his little community embark on a regimen of productive work. Paradoxically, this life-style leads them to feel useful, for the first time giving their existences some meaning and themselves a semblance of pleasure. The denouement is made clear in the last chapter's final sentences, when Candide concludes, "we must cultivate our garden."
The devious Jew-merchants, whom Voltaire depicts as embodying the pecuniary mentality, nevertheless make possible Candide's second "providential fall" (the first one being his exile from the Baron's castle, which forced him to undertake the conte's journey of self-discovery). By reducing him to a small farmer, they have also paradoxically provided him an opportunity to create his own identity, that of the self-sufficient, petit bourgeois landowner. Thus, the Jews enable Candide and his coterie to start a new life.
As an outcast from the Ancien Regime, booted out of Castle Thunder-ten-tronckh as a bastard with the temerity to kiss the Baron's daughter, Candide knows how it feels to be an outsider. But the gold and diamonds he acquired at El Dorado enabled him to transmute himself, albeit tenuously, from outsider to insider, just as the possession of moneyed wealth had helped Jews gain a precarious economic security, although they were constantly persecuted, subjected to exorbitant extra taxation, and their property was often confiscated by the authorities. Indeed, in the course of the tale, Candide suffers similar abuses and the confiscation of his wealth. Thus, we may conclude that Candide, an illegitimate child and an abused outsider whose acquisition of wealth gained him a certain fragile legitimacy, is himself a prototypical "Jew."
CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
Ages Arnold. "Tainted Greatness: The Case of Voltaire's Anti-Semitism: The Testimony of the Correspondence." Neohelicon 21.2 (Sept. 1994): 357-367.
Aubery, Pierre. "Voltaire and Antisemitism: A Reply to [Arthur] Hertzberg." Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 217 (1983): 177-182.
Arkush, Allan. "Voltaire on Judaism and Christianity." AJS Review 18.2 (1993): 223-243.
Badir, Magdy Gabriel. "Race et Nation au XVIIIe Siecle: Etude Comparative de la Nation Juive et Arabe Par Voltaire." History of European Ideas 15 (1992): 709-715.
Besterman, Theodore. Voltaire. 3d edn., Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1976.
Carlson, Marvin A. Voltaire and the Theatre of the Eighteenth Century. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1998.
Carroll, James. Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History (Boston: Houghton, 2001).
Chisick, Harvey. "Ethics and History in Voltaire's Attitudes toward the Jews." Eighteenth-Century Studies 35 (2002): 577-600.
Gay, Peter. "Voltaire's Anti-Semitism," in Gay, The Party of Humanity: Essays in the French Enlightenment. New York: Knopf, 1964. Pp. 97-108.
Goldkorn, Isaac. "Voltaire's Crusade Against the Jews." Midstream 33 (June/July 1987): 42-44.
Hertzberg, Arthur. The French Enlightenment and the Jews. New York: Columbia UP, 1968.
Hume, David. An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Ed. Charles W. Hendel. London, 1748; Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1955.
Jory, D. H. "The Source of a Name in Candide?" Romance Notes 13.1 (1971): 113-116.
Katz, Jacob A. From Prejudice to Destruction. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1980.
Manuel, Frank E. The Broken Staff: Judaism Through Christian Eyes. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1992.
Marsh, Leonard. "Voltaire's Candide." The Explicator 62 (Spring 2004): 144-146.
McGregor, Rob Roy Jr. "The Misunderstanding Over the Sabbath in Candide." Romance Notes 13.2 (1971): 288-291.
Mason, Haydn. Voltaire: A Biography. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1981.
Meyer, Paul H. "The Attitude of the Enlightenment Toward the Jew." Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 26 (1963): 1161-1205.
Pearson, Roger. Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom. New York: Bloomsbury, 2005.
Pomeau, Rene. Ed. Voltaire: Candide ou L'Optimisme. Edition Critique. Paris: Nizet, 1959. I have used this version when I sought a quotation in the original French.
Prince, Gerald. Narrative as Theme: Studies in French Fiction. Lincoln, Neb.: U of Nebraska P, 1992.
Roper, Alice Mae. "Voltaire and the Jews." Diss. Rice U, 1976.
Schechter, Ronald. "Rationalizing the Enlightenment: Postmodernism and Theories of Anti-Semitism." Historical Reflections 25 (1999): 279-306.
--. Obstinate Hebrews: Representations of Jews in France, 1715-1815. Berkeley: U of Cal P, 2003.
Scherr, Arthur. "Voltaire's Candide." The Explicator 59 (Winter 2001): 74-76.
Sutcliffe, Adam. "Myth, Origins, Identity: Voltaire, the Jews, and the Enlightenment Notion of Toleration." Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 39 (Summer 1998): 107-126.
--. "Can a Jew Be a Philosophe? Isaac de Pinto, Voltaire, and Jewish Participation in the European Enlightenment." Jewish Social Studies 6 (Spring/Summer 2000): 31-51.
Vital, David. A People Apart: The Jews in Europe, 1789-1939. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999.
Voltaire [Arouet, Francois-Marie]. Candide. In The Portable Voltaire. Ed. Ben Ray Redman. New York: Penguin Books, 1977. Pp. 229-328. Page numbers for quotations to this translation by Richard Aldington are enclosed in parentheses in the text above.
(1) Some of the many studies that emphasize Voltaire's hostility to Jews and insist that he engendered a universal legacy of hatred include Hertzberg, 280-313; Vital, 137-138; Carroll, 420-423; Sutcliffe, "Myth," 107-126; Sutcliffe, "Philosophe," 31-51; Goldkorn, 42-44; Manuel, 193-201; and Katz, 34-47. Among the less numerous general defenses of Voltaire against scholars' charges of Anti-Semitism are Roper; Gay, 97-108; Schechter, "Rationalizing Enlightenment," 279-306; Schechter, Obstinate Hebrews, 239-240, 294; Chisick, 577-600; and Badir, 709-715. Although seldom-cited, Arkush 223-243 is one of the best defenses of Voltaire against charges of Jew-hatred.
(2) I have supplied the translation of lard as chicken fat, finding it more correct than the customary translation as "bacon," which actually makes little sense, since there would be no reason for Jews to eat bacon and chicken together. Indeed, the translation of lard as chicken fat increases the situation's absurdity as well as being more accurate, because chicken often does have fat on it.
(3) Prince 51-64 praises Candide's narrator for epitomizing common sense and the Enlightenment's particularistic, empirical orientation.
(4) For a more detailed discussion of the Biblical significance of Don Issacar's name, see Jory.
(5) For further information on this incident, see McGregor.
(6) In northern Israel on the border with Lebanon, Galilee comprised part of ancient Israel. Settled by the tribes of Issachar and Naphtali after Joshua conquered it from the Canaanites, its main town, Nazareth, was Jesus' home for most of his adult life. In 734 BC, much of Galilee's Jewish population was exiled after the victory of the Assyrian king Tigleth-Pilessar III over the Israelite kingdom. Seldom under Jewish control thereafter, Galilee became known for its heterogeneous, preponderantly non-Hebrew population. Perhaps this provides additional reason for Don Issacar to refer to Cunegonde as a "Galilean."
(7) Marsh 144-146 mistakenly says that the Old Woman healed Candide's wounds after the Bulgars tortured him.
(8) For Voltaire's relationship with Adrienne Lecouvreur, see Mason 147-148; Carlson 14-16, 19, 39-40; Besterman 63, 169-170; and Pearson 54, 65-66, 88, 375. The noun Voltaire uses, la voirie, may also be translated as garbage dump.
(9) For the appearance of Captain Vanderdendur in the conte and the actions that distinguish him as Candide's most evil character, see Voltaire 282-288.
(10) However, for the limitations of the Anabaptist's benevolence, see Scherr 74-76.
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|Date:||Mar 22, 2006|
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