Can you recommend books about Voltaire
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Published by Rainer Bauer. Translated from the French by Angelika Oppenheimer. Voltaire, the "witty scoffers" - hardly any cliché about great writers is so widespread. But that makes the French thinker seem far too harmless. Voltaire was certainly witty and gifted with irony, but mildly smiling ridicule was not his thing. He could be sharp and caustic wherever he got involved. "Écrasez l'infâme" was his battle cry - "Shatter everything that is wicked". The "Dictionnaire philosophique portatif", which appeared for the first time in 1764, is anything but a reference work. It is a clear reckoning with stupidity, fanaticism, narrow-mindedness and intolerance. In 73 key words you can learn what constitutes a critical, undogmatic mental attitude. One can learn from him what a writer's commitment can do. And that commitment and literary quality are not mutually exclusive - a clever pamphlet from which impulses can still emanate today. The literary critic Denis Scheck rightly described it as a scandal that the "Philosophical Pocket Dictionary" was only available in a selected edition in German. This edition makes the German-speaking literary world poorer by one scandal.
Review note on Süddeutsche Zeitung, January 22nd, 2021
Reviewer Gustav Seibt reaches for the Bible after reading Voltaire's collected essays on God and the world. But he also finds the short texts stimulating in many other ways. The reader may, but shouldn't, read them too "bit by bit", advises the reviewer, the "drive" of the book opens up to the consistent reader. Seibt finds the book's unsystematic nature and the author's trust in the acuteness of his readers a temptation. The debates of Voltaire's time, Voltaire's witty, entertaining criticism of the Bible, his "philosophical-conceptual" excursions - according to Seibt, all of this is recommended through clear, dry prose.Read the review at buecher.de
Review note on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 20, 2020
Reviewer Friedrich Vollhardt, who teaches German at the Munich LMU, is pleased with the first complete German edition of this "Basic Text of the Enlightenment" from 1764. Vollhardt likes Voltaire's entertainment and brevity, as does the sharpness with which the author fights against religious enthusiasm and intolerance. In addition to Voltaire's defense of his philosophy against the materialists, Vollhardt discovered an abundance of scientific knowledge. Unfortunately, the reviewer does not comment on the creation of the volume (Rainer Bauer) or the translation (Angelika Oppenheimer).Read the review at buecher.de
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