Fiction Poetry Videos

Candide (1759) by Voltaire [François-Marie Arouet]

By keeping it to a much smaller scale, Voltaire is able to enforce magnetic and grandiose ideas in a line equivalent to a line in poetry.

cg fewstonCandide by Voltaire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every writer needs to master dialogue, making it as believable and expected as everyday life, but allowing it to convey the simplicity intermingled with surprise and excitement expected in modern novels.

cg fewston

In addition to dialogue, perfecting a paragraph or passage’s structure, namely placing an important thought towards the end, is another device modern writers need to understand in their daily writing. In Voltaire’s Candide, dialogue and placement help construct a lasting story and develop the plot into an all-time classic satire.

cg fewston

Dialogue is by far one of the easiest aspects of a novel to mangle, and the most noticeable by publishers and agents in the modern publishing industry. One of the main attributes of Voltaire’s utilization of dialogue in Candide is to keep it simple in structure but not in idea.

cg fewston

Most of the lines of speech, sometimes broken by a comma or semicolon, fall somewhere between five syllables (or beats) to no more than fifteen, establishing a poetic rhythm to the dialogue, much the same way poetry is written. Any more than fifteen, in upwards of thirty, becomes tiresome for the reader and overly exerts the reader’s ability to maintain a rhythm and to completely comprehend the ideas stated in the conversation.

cg fewston
François-Marie Arouet, or ”Voltaire”, French Writer (1694-1778)

By keeping it to a much smaller scale, Voltaire is able to enforce magnetic and grandiose ideas in a line equivalent to a line in poetry. One example of Voltaire’s skill appears in Chapter XVIII: “What they saw in the Country of El Dorado” (note: line breaks are not presented in the text, nor will they be here, but the beats will be inserted at the end of each line broken by punctuation to clearly illustrate the poetic aspects of Voltaire’s dialogue):

cg fewston

The old man reddened a little at this question. ‘Can you doubt it? [4]’ he said. ‘Do you take us for wretches who have no sense of gratitude? [15]’ Cacambo asked in a respectful manner about the established religion of El Dorado. The old man blushed again, and said: ‘Can there be two religions then? [8] Ours, [1] I suppose, [2] is the religion of the whole world.

[9] We worship God from morning till night. [9]’ ‘Do you worship only one God? [8]’ said Cacambo, who still acted as interpreter for Candide’s doubts. ‘Certainly, [3]’ said the old man; ‘there are not two nor three nor four Gods. [9] I must confess the people of your world ask extraordinary questions [18]’ (Voltaire 71).

cg fewston

Granted the last line exceeds fifteen beats but does so with such flawless rhythm that the first three words of the sentence “I must confess” could easily be followed with a colon to break, but grammatically does not require it. For the most part, Voltaire’s sentences located throughout the novel, both in dialogue and narration, rarely exceed fifteen syllables between any two punctuation marks. This easily identifiable mark of a well-seasoned writer establishes a delicate flow to the story while keeping the pace smooth and simple.

Nevertheless, in the dialogue cited above, the conversation, albeit broken down into simple words and simple sentences, does not contain anything simple about it. The content discusses monotheism versus polytheism, but in such a way that readers at most any level of understanding and ability can apply a deeper meaning to the context, and enjoy the story at the same time.

Jon Franklin in Writing for Story advises writers that “It’s not what you say, anymore, it’s all in how you say it” (198). Dialogue, therefore, can be crafted to help establish a rhythm to the narration by keeping the syllables mindful of the written laws of poesy and to use simple, believable words that, for the most part, would be found in everyday speech on the sidewalk.

cg fewston

Franklin further proposes to writers that “the strongest thought should always appear at the end of a sentence, a paragraph, or a passage” (196).

cg fewston

Voltaire continually takes notice of this rule throughout his satirical novel Candide. At the end of the paragraph containing the above cited dialogue, the last line reads “There is nothing like seeing the world, that’s certain” (Voltaire 72). Candide, the speaker, places the strongest thought at the end of the conversation which, as mentioned earlier, is primarily about the differences of religion between different parts of the world.

In another scene, when Candide has been reunited with one of the sheep he lost from El Dorado, the man claims, “Since I have found you again…I may find my Cunégonde once more” (83); and, thus, the chapter comes to a close, thereby foreshadowing that Candide will find his beloved Cunégonde sometime in the future.

cg fewston
François-Marie Arouet, or ”Voltaire”, French Writer (1694-1778)

In one last example of how important placing is to a sentence, paragraph, or chapter, the very last line of the book, which is actually repeated by Candide from the page before, states, “But we must cultivate our garden” (Voltaire 130).

cg fewston

The book ends with the importance of the entire plot, according to Candide, that life is meant to be worked and not to be idle, because therein lies the evil which plagues humanity.

Repeatedly, the reader will discover Voltaire’s ability to expertly and cleverly insert quick sentences, which may often go unnoticed by an untrained eye, at the end of a paragraph or chapter, but lends itself to a much higher scheme by the author set at hand.

cg fewston

Douglas Bauer states:

The relevant point, as it applies, to writing literary fiction, is my sense, based on talking with new writers, that some of them treat dramatic events so cavalierly, piling them up, heedless of an inventory, because they believe that it’s the way to capture not only a reader’s attention, but also some sort of narrative verisimilitude (140).

cg fewston

In truth, many new writers pile up extraordinary events because many of the early classics did as well, namely Candide by Voltaire and Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, which the latter will not be discussed further for its blatant disregard for Bauer’s statement.

In the light of Bauer’s truth, however, new writers may learn from Voltaire that one may capture a reader’s attention by paying careful notice to the crafting of dialogue and the placement of important thoughts throughout the writing of a manuscript.


Bauer, Douglas. The Stuff of Fiction: Advice on Craft. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2006. Print.

Cervantes, Miguel de. Don Quixote. Translated by Tobias Smollett, and revised by Carole Slade. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2004. Print.

Franklin, Jon. Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by a Two-Time Pulitzer Prize Winner. New York: Plume, 1994. Print.

Voltaire. Candide. Translated by Henry Morley. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003. Print.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

cg fewston


cg fewston

The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s a been member of the Hemingway Society, Americans for the Arts, PEN America, Club Med, & the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also a been Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London. He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Fathers Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), The Mystics Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), Little Hometown, America (2020); A Time to Forget in East Berlin (2022), and Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being (2023).

cg fewston

He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.

cg fewston
cg fewston

Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being is a captivating new dystopian science fiction novel by CG Fewston, an author already making a name for himself with his thought-provoking work. Set in the year 2183, Conquergood is set in a world where one company, Korporation, reigns supreme and has obtained world peace, through oppression... The world-building in the novel is remarkable. Fewston has created a believable and authentic post-apocalyptic society with technological wonders and thought-provoking societal issues. The relevance of the themes to the state of the world today adds an extra wrinkle and makes the story even more compelling.”

cg fewston
cg fewston

“A spellbinding tale of love and espionage set under the looming shadow of the Berlin Wall in 1975… A mesmerising read full of charged eroticism.”

Ian Skewis, Associate Editor for Bloodhound Books, & author of best-selling novel A Murder of Crows (2017)  

“An engrossing story of clandestine espionage… a testament to the lifestyle encountered in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War.”

“There is no better way for readers interested in Germany’s history and the dilemma and cultures of the two Berlins to absorb this information than in a novel such as this, which captures the microcosm of two individuals’ love, relationship, and options and expands them against the blossoming dilemmas of a nation divided.”

~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

A Time to Forget in East Berlin is a dream-like interlude of love and passion in the paranoid and violent life of a Cold War spy. The meticulous research is evident on every page, and Fewston’s elegant prose, reminiscent of novels from a bygone era, enhances the sensation that this is a book firmly rooted in another time.”

~ Matthew Harffy, prolific writer & best-selling historical fiction author of the “Bernicia Chronicles” series

“Vivid, nuanced, and poetic…” “Fewston avoids familiar plot elements of espionage fiction, and he is excellent when it comes to emotional precision and form while crafting his varied cast of characters.” “There’s a lot to absorb in this book of hefty psychological and philosophical observations and insights, but the reader who stays committed will be greatly rewarded.”

cg fewston

GOLD Winner in the 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Awards for Contemporary Realistic Fiction

FINALIST in the SOUTHWEST REGIONAL FICTION category of the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence 2020 Awards (NIEA)

“Readers of The Catcher in the Rye and similar stories will relish the astute, critical inspection of life that makes Little Hometown, America a compelling snapshot of contemporary American life and culture.”

“Fewston employs a literary device called a ‘frame narrative’ which may be less familiar to some, but allows for a picture-in-picture result (to use a photographic term). Snapshots of stories appear as parts of other stories, with the introductory story serving as a backdrop for a series of shorter stories that lead readers into each, dovetailing and connecting in intricate ways.”

~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“The American novelist CG FEWSTON tells a satisfying tale, bolstered by psychology and far-ranging philosophy, calling upon Joseph Campbell, J. D. Salinger, the King James Bible, and Othello.”

“In this way, the author lends intellectual heft to a family story, exploring the ‘purity’ of art, the ‘corrupting’ influences of publishing, the solitary artist, and the messy interconnectedness of human relationships.”

“Fewston’s lyrical, nostalgia-steeped story is told from the perspective of a 40-year-old man gazing back on events from his 1980s Texas childhood…. the narrator movingly conveys and interprets the greater meanings behind childhood memories.”

“The novel’s focus on formative childhood moments is familiar… the narrator’s lived experiences come across as wholly personal, deeply felt, and visceral.”

cg fewston
cg fewston

American Novelist CG FEWSTON


cg fewston

This is my good friend, Nicolasa (Nico) Murillo, CRC, who is a professional chef & a wellness mentor. I’ve known her since childhood & I’m honored to share her story with you. In life, we all have ups & downs, some far more extreme than others. Much like in Canada, in America, the legalization of marijuana has become a national movement, which includes safe & legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use & research for all.

“This is a wellness movement,” Nico explains. The wellness movement is focused on three specific areas: information, encouragement, & accountability.

In these stressful & unprecedented times, it makes good sense to promote & encourage the state or condition of being in good physical & mental health.

To learn more you can visit: Americans For Safe Access & Texans for Safe Access, ASA (if you are in Texas).

The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research.


TEXANS FOR SAFE ACCESS ~ share the mission of their national organization, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research, for all Texans.


Stay safe & stay happy. God bless.


Nico Murillo Bio ~ Americans & Texans for Safe Access ~ Medical Cannabis



cg fewston

27 comments on “Candide (1759) by Voltaire [François-Marie Arouet]

  1. Candide (1759) by Voltaire [François-Marie Arouet] | C.G. Fewston

  2. Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  3. Wonderful site. A lot of helpful info here. I’m sending it to a few friends ans
    also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you to your

    • It means a great deal to me when readers leave comments as nice as yours. Thank you very much for taking the time and letting me know you enjoyed the reading. Excelsior!

  4. Exceptional post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate
    a little bit more. Cheers!

  5. What’s up friends, nice paragraph and good arguments commented at this place, I am truly enjoying by these.

  6. You’ve made some decent points there. I checked on the
    net to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along
    with your views on this site.

  7. Hi, its nice post regarding media print, we all be aware of media is a impressive source of information.

  8. What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable know-how
    on the topic of unpredicted emotions. Quest Bars blogesaurus

  9. I do believe all of the concepts you’ve presented
    on your post. They’re very convincing and will certainly work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for starters. May you
    please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time? Thank
    you for the post.

  10. Your method of telling everything in this piece of writing is genuinely nice,
    all can effortlessly be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

  11. Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or did
    you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple
    adjustements would really make my blog stand out. Please let me
    know where you got your theme. Kudos

  12. It’s great to read this useful post on dog training.
    I have a question however. How do you work with an older dog?

  13. Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too. This sort
    of clever work and exposure! Keep up the good works guys I’ve included
    you guys to blogroll.

  14. I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

  15. What’s up to every body, it’s my first go to see of this blog; this webpage consists of amazing and actually excellent data for visitors.

  16. You’re so cool! I do not believe I have read through a single thing like this before.
    So good to find someone with some original thoughts on this subject.
    Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

  17. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a
    friend who had been conducting a little research
    on this. And he actually bought me breakfast simply because I found it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this matter here on your web

  18. Hi there to every one, it’s really a nice for me to visit this website,
    it includes precious Information.

  19. I’ve read some good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for
    revisiting. I surprise how so much effort you place to make any
    such excellent informative site.

  20. This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally
    I have found something which helped me. Cheers!

  21. “Great Blogpost! Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will_ be waiting for your further write ups thank you once again.”

  22. Pingback: The Art of Fiction (1984) by John Gardner | CG FEWSTON

  23. Pingback: The Magic Mountain (1924) by Thomas Mann & the Natures of Love & Death | CG FEWSTON

Comments are closed.