François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire

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Gegründet am: 13. Feb. 2010
Beschreibung:
François-Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, essayist, and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy...


The name "Voltaire", which the author adopted in 1718 both as a pen name and for daily use, is an anagram of "AROVET LI," the Latinized spelling of his surname, Arouet, and the initial letters of "le jeune" ("the younger"). The name also echoes in reverse order the syllables of the name of a family château in the Poitou region: "Airvault". The adoption of the name "Voltaire" following his incarceration at the Bastille is seen by many to mark Voltaire's formal separation from his family and his past.

Richard Holmes supports this derivation of the name, but adds that a writer such as Voltaire would have intended it to also convey its connotations of speed and daring. These come from associations with words such as "voltige" (acrobatics on a trapeze or horse), "volte-face" (a spinning about to face one's enemies), and "volatile" (originally, any winged creature). "Arouet" was not a noble name fit for his growing reputation, especially given that name's resonance with "à rouer" ("for thrashing") and "roué" (a "débauché").

Voltaire is known to have used at least 178 separate pen names during his lifetime.


Frontispiece and first page of chapter one of an early English translation by T. Smollett et al of Voltaire's "Candide" , printed by J. Newbery, 1762

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  • Milkshake8

    Nice. I think I know someone that can play the trumpet. Been saving up for a tank. Everything's almost in place. 8-)

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  • SeaSergeant

    "All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets." The best Anti-War Quotation

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    "Originality is nothing by judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another."

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    "Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense."

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