A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a curator at the New York Public Library, Alice Boone, who is conducting a fascinating cyber-experiment in conjunction with the NYPL exhibition Candide at 250: Scandal and Success.
A Ph.D. candidate in comparative literature at Columbia, Ms. Boone has gathered together a community of scholars and artists and invited them to adorn Voltaire’s text with footnotes, observations, clarifications, musings, and riffs, the aim being to produce a blog equivalent to Martin Gardner’s The Annotated Alice or Isaac Asimov’s Gulliver’s Travels.
As the author of The Last Witchfinder, which attempts to dramatize the birth of the Enlightenment, and The Philosopher’s Apprentice, which arguably dramatizes the death of the Enlightenment, I struck Ms. Boone as the sort of person who might enjoy such an assignment – which indeed I did.
My Talmudic commentary on Chapters 4, 5, and 6 of Candide has was posted earlier this week. Feel free to join the conversation.