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by Voltaire

Zadig ou la Destinée (Zadig, or The Book of Fate) (1747) is a work of philosophical fiction whereby Voltaire takes aim at various forms of religious and metaphysical orthodoxy. Although the setting of the fiction is ancient Babylonia, Voltaire frequently makes references to social and political problems of his own day.

Zadig challenges the metaphysical and religious establishments by demonstrating that happenings very often human life is beyond his control. Zealous characters in the book try to explain every happening : (typical is : there is no such thing as chance but that all is trial or punishment, recompense or prevision.) But Zadig is not quite convinced, and his life and thoughts lead him to the conclusion that not often the paths Providence leads us through are intelligible.

Masked by wit and intelligence, the boldness of Voltaire’s ideas shine through this text. Along with Candide, Zadig is one of the most popular of Voltaire’s books.

Title Details

Translator:Robert Bruce Boswell
Number of words:55,527
Print Length:159 pages

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Random Quote/Passage

 "Je soussigné, qui me suis fait passer pour savant, et même pour homme d'esprit, ai lu ce manuscrit, que j'ai trouvé, malgré moi, curieux, amusant, moral, philosophique, digne de plaire à ceux mêmes qui haïssent les romans."
"I, the undersigned, who have succeeded in making myself pass for a man of learning and even of wit, have read this manuscript, and found it, in spite of myself, curious and amusing, moral and philosophical, and worthy even of pleasing those who hate fiction. "
Zadig - Voltaire

All Titles by Voltaire


L’Ingénu (The Huron, or, Pupil of Nature)


Le Taureau Blanc (The White Bull)

La Princesse de Babylone (Princess of Babylon)

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