Candide said, " I also know that we must cultivate our garden."
Pangloss said, "You are right because, when man was sent from the garden of Eden, he was sent, ut operaretur eum, so that he would work; which proves that man is not born to rest."
Martin said, "Let us work without thinking, it is the only way to make life endurable." (if only I could)
Optimism. Voltaire was making fun of it but, (really) Cunegonde was very ugly but made excellent pastry and what is wrong with that? I must be an optimist too. If Candide had not undergone all those misfortunes, he would not have been sitting with Pangloss discussing philosophy and eating jam and pistachios.
I thought Voltaire was talking about Medieval optimism since A.T Hatto wrote that the people of the Middle Ages were essentially optimists and viewed the crucifixion as a triumph not a tragedy. Voltaire was writing Candide in response to Liebniz but maybe Liebniz's philosophy came out of the Middle Ages.
Writers come in and out of fashion. I have not seen Voltaire on a course list in a really long time. Does anybody read his books anymore? I am off to my garden again; as the last line of Candide is "Cela est bien dit, repondit Candide, mais il faut cultiver notre jardin."