Reading Voltaire's Contes

A Semiotics of Philosophical Narration

By Carol Sherman

Reading Voltaire's Contes

284 pp., 6 x 9, 27 figs, notes, bibl

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9227-5
    Published: January 1985

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Romance Studies

Questioning a particular tradition of reading, Carol Sherman writes a series of metacritical essays that revise many of our assumptions about Voltaire’s stories, substantiate others, and attempt to account for the phenomenon of interpretation for the paradoxical case of fictions that proffer truths. Micromégas, Zadig, Candide, and L’Ingéne constantly guide the interpreter to a single reading; nonetheless, these tales deconstruct their premises at the hands of readers who are conscious of their own status as text.