Z is for Zadig

Z is for Zadig

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You might think that a  fairy tale set in Persia would hold no relevance to the challenges of modern life but there you’d be wrong. Because its the title of a work by the famous French philosopher, Voltaire, otherwise known as François  Arouet. It reminds me somewhat of that other fantastical tale, “Gulliver’s  Travels” by Johnathan Swift, because although both are set in fantastical worlds where the innocent hero has impossible adventures, they are both underpinned by strong morality and social satire.
I never looked ar horses in quite the same way after reading Gullivers Travels. In one of the worlds Gulliver visits, horses are superior to humans who are still primitives and daub themselves with woad, using grunts for speech  (the Yahoos) The horses or Houyhnhnms communicate telepathically with each other and are deeply spiritual beings.  I can see that whenever I look into the eyes of a horse.

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But back to Zadig because its the last letter of the AtoZ challenge.

Zadig moves from one disaster to another in life, frequently caused by the fickleness of women-Voltaire was no feminist- until he meets a wise hermit who shows him that nothing in life is straightforward; good things can come from evil deeds, those who seem innocent may in fact be guilty, those who seem generous may in fact be profligate, etc. In other words he reveals the shadow of the light and in doing so helps Zadig to become enlightened and no longer tied to the wheel of fate. It’s what is needed in many areas of life today, a more mature appreciation of the light and shadow in us all rather than the ‘I am right/you are wrong’ dichotomy so evident in political life.  “Zadig” shares a similar theme to Voltaire’s  other great work ‘Candide’ where the honest yet naive hero, Candide gains wisdom through life and loss and ends by stating that we must cultivate our own garden.  In other words, go inwards to find peace, security and wisdom.

From the sublime to the ridiculous. “Zadig & Voltaire” is the name of a Parisian clothing company. Why? I ask myself… Its a deep philosophical question with no easy answer.

15 thoughts on “Z is for Zadig

  1. I know very little about Voltaire and classics, so thanks for making it easy to understand. Yes, I’m totally sick of the black-or-white, all-or-nothing attitudes of people, which are too prevalent in politics and religion. However I’m not sure that enlightenment will unchain anyone from the wheel of fate. I think everyone’s pretty much stuck on that merry-go-round. Great post and CONGRATS on finishing the A-Z!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That white horse is indeed so white! I love its hair too, split right on the the center. 🙂
    Right now, I couldn’t think of any place I’ve been to that starts with letter Z. Nice that you were able to. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ” “Zadig & Voltaire” is the name of a Parisian clothing company. Why? I ask myself… Its a deep philosophical question with no easy answer.”
    This was such a great end for such a thoughtful post. 🙂 Made me smile!
    I’ve always loved horses, they are mystical creatures!!!
    Happy end to the A to Z – I will miss visiting Paris with you. Thank you for taking me on such a great journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree that what is needed is more open-mindedness and acceptance and respect for others’ beliefs and thoughts. I enjoyed your philosophical post and the lovely photos. Congratulations on making it through to the end of A to Z!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The horse is named Texas?? I know there’s a great story there. . .

    The ability to move beyond black/white and see nuance is a sign of maturity IMO; put another way, seeing things in black and white seems to be a phase all adolescents pass through and not all emerge from. Perspective, empathy, wisdom, enlightenment, whatever you want to call it, is in short supply these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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