(Last Updated On: December 3, 2018)

Being anonymous was essential in order to get a critical message across in the 1800th century France. Voltaire, at the time already famous, published 1759 anonymously in five countries simultaneously his anti authoritarian book Candide: or, The Optimist. The book was immediately banned by the church and the state. But today it is part of the Western Canon, rated as one of the 100 most important books. Voltaire criticizes the german philosopher Leibniz who postulates that “we live in the best of all possible worlds” and all things happening is for the best because God good. In the satirical novel the naive protagonist Candide is gradually becoming aware of the evils in the world: slavery, war, natural disaster, starvation, rape, corruption etc and he starts to question if we really live in the best of worlds?

If the message is critical and rocks the people with power you sometimes need to hide. However, Voltaire was pretty soon identified. And is forever remembered.

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