Monday, January 7, 2013

Education : Candide Volaire: app for iPad

screenshot Candide app

screenshot Candide app

The Bibliothèque Nationale de France and Orange, with the participation of the Voltaire Foundation, have launched a digital edition of Voltaire's Candide. 

This free app for iPad is now available for download on iTunes.

Watch the video below (French language):


"Why do bad things happen to good people? Well, why not? The handsome young Candide, having been taught that this is the best of all possible worlds, quickly learns that is far from true. (...)  we must surely conclude that we can still profit by the example of lucidity, the acumen, the intellectual honesty, and the moral courage of Voltaire's Candide."

Candide by Voltaire
Frontispiece and first page of chapter one of an early English translation by T. Smollett et al of Voltaire's Candide, printed by John Newbery, 1762

First publication in 1759, the novel follows the adventures of a young man, Candide, and his mentor, the philosopher PanglossCandide has become Voltaire's most celebrated work. 

Educators and students have now the chance to rediscover one of the major literary classics and always read in Humanities curricula, Voltaire’s Candide, a new iPad App. 

The app innovatively redefines the scope of a literature masterpiece and help us rediscover this important French classical book, in new and engaging ways as you could watched on the video. 

The enhanced e-book includes the original Voltaire manuscript preserved at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and further exclusive content.

screenshot Candide app

The app contains three parts:

  • Book : To provide an optimal reading experience, the app can simultaneously display the text and the BnF's manuscript.  We can also hear a personable interpretation of Candide by major French actor Denis Podalydes. With one touch, the reader can make use of the enhanced reading mode which facilitates access to the work: definitions, variants of the critical edition as established by the Voltaire Foundation, character sheets, place, concepts, illustrations of the text by 18th century engravers but also by Paul Klee.

  • World : A map allows the reader to chart Candide’s journey while offering opportunities to further in-depth study thanks to interviews, a bibliography, and an iconographical library. Michel Le Bris, Alain Finkielkraut, Martine Reid and Georges Vigarello all shed new light on such themes as "Women in the 18th century", "El Dorado", "Cultivating you own garden", and "The image of the other".

  • Garden : A collaborative space facilitating discussions on CandideThe garden allows each reader the opportunity to organise and publish a notebook made up of their own comments and their favourite analyses as a book visible to everyone. Each notebook appears in the garden as knowledge trees, which grow as the reader enriches them. 

screenshot Candide app

This part will be an important educational tool for schools: 

Teachers can create their own presentations (notebooks) in the garden and invite  theirstudents to contribute to them from the website (feature availability: early 2013).


Humanities: Literatures; Philosphy; History.


Secondary Education; Higher Education.

Price. the app is free!

screenshot Candide app

Some thoughts:

Candide is a timeless and universal text. The creation of Candide app was designed to make Voltaire’s masterpiece accessible to the widest audience possible.

It's exciting! This new digital is free, beautiful, accessible, and in no way inferior to the most erudite of editions. 

The two levels of annotations, ‘discovery’ and ‘research’, solve the limitations of a paper edition by making it a useful tool for both academics and students. 

Thanks to these two levels, as well as the map of the world charting Candide’s travels, the reader can choose their own way into the text. 

Just like Candide, the reader is free to wander through this voltairean world and make their own discoveries at their own pace.

(based on considerations of Voltaire Foundation)

As a specialist of Humanities & ICT, I'm really happy! Voltaire's Candide app is marvellous! This will be an exciting teaching and learning tool to academics and students. Classical Literature lessons wil be creative and contagious.

Other important digital resource for teachers and students:

Voltaire's Candide | BBC Radio Player (May 2012)

An interesting and complete discussion about Candide with David Wootton (Anniversary Professor of History at the University of York); Nicholas Cronk (Professor of French Literature and Director of the Voltaire Foundation at the University of Oxford); Caroline Warman ( Lecturer in French and Fellow of Jesus College at the University of Oxford).


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Education : Candide Voltaire : app for iPad by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Candide, the enchanced edition

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