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Zadig ou la Destinée is a famous novel and work of philosophical fiction written by Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire's own day. It was originally published as Memnon in Amsterdam and first issued under its more familiar title in 1748. The book makes use of the Persian tale The Three Princes of Serendip. It is philosophical in nature, and presents human life as in the hands of a destiny beyond human control. It is a story of religious and metaphysical orthodoxy, both of which Voltaire challenges with his presentation of the moral revolution taking place in Zadig himself. Voltaire's skillful use of the literary devices of contradiction and juxtaposition are shown in beautiful form in this prose. It is one of his most celebrated works after Candide.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
name of a famous novel by Voltaire, of a philosophical cast, bearing upon life as in the hands of a destiny beyond our control.
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