"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Half Empty/Half Full


One of my favorite books is CANDIDE by Voltaire. While staying in St-Germain-des-Pres in Paris, I had to go aound the corner and have a look at the building where Voltaire lived and died.  It is on the left bank of the Seine. Just for a little backstory, Voltaire, the great French philosopher, amassed a library of more than 21,000 books with his favorite subjects being metaphysics, moral philosophy, physics, history, critical deism...  He wrote his satire, CANDIDE, in 1759, during the Age of Enlightenment.  It was considered his magnum opus.  

Voltaire rejected a common theory of the time, that "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds."  He argued that this theory of optimism was wrong - that if this were the best possible world, then it would surely be better than it is, citing natural disasters, war, catastrophes etc.  Thus, Candide was born of Voltaire's writings and discussions on this subject.

Candide did set out and travel the world, full of hope and optimism, looking for the good in man.  An epic journey, the end finds Candide returning home, "to cultivate his garden."  I won't give more away than that.

And, about another modern credo, the glass is either half empty or half full, I've always said, it's half.  Guess that makes me a realist.

10 comments:


  1. Hello, donna baker.

     Your work is embraced in your gentleness.
     Sharing a moment of peace.
     It is a joy for all.

     Your heart warm message in the cold.
     I always give mind of thanks to you.

    Greeting.
    Have a good weekend. From Japan, ruma❃

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    1. Ruma, thank you. It is always an honor to hear from you.

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  2. Dear Donna - stumbled on your blog from Jeri Lander's. Took some time to read some of your previous posts. Enjoyed my visit so much. Your art work is so beautiful as well. Nice to meet you...will stop back again.

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    1. Debbie, thank you so much. My favorite part of blogging is getting know new people out 'there'.

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  3. Donna, I do love your philosophy of "half". How very true to the heart of a realist. I guess my glass is also, "half"

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  4. How about "optomistically realistic"? That's me!

    Wish you could come shopping with me at the Curious Boys. They are some of the best Junkers ever. Can't wait to get the summer porch ready this year! Hugs. Dixie

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    1. Dixie, I wish, but I think it fits you to a T. Wish I could go shopping with you. Antiquing is still in my blood and I often think I might get into it again. Where else are you going to get a return of 100% on your money?

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  5. I've never read Voltaire but might need to add Candide to my growing list of classics to read. I learned a little about Votaire and the Age of Enlightenment in art history class. So fascinating, I'd really like to learn more about that period in history. Thanks for the inspiration!

    On another note ... Venere.com is where I found all my little pensiones/hotels for my last couple of Italy trips. So far it's worked out great. Of course, you have to read between the lines on the reviews. I start with the lowest possible prices, then work my way up. :)

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    1. Lucinda, I will check it out next time. I used the star rating system for my selections and required at least a 3 star rating.

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