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Dr. K. Porter Aichele

Professor of Art

Dr. K. Porter Aichele

Candide by Voltaire

"Shortly after arriving at UNCG as the newly appointed head of the Art Department in the Fall of 1990, I settled into the productive routine of administration. I soon felt the need to balance the responsibilities of administration with the intellectual challenges of research, so I rummaged through notes on projects that I had never had time to complete. One that seemed especially intriguing focused on illustrated editions of Voltaire's Candide. I had first read Voltaire's satirical masterpiece as an undergraduate and much later had stumbled across a paperback edition with Paul Klee's illustrations in a used bookshop. My notes indicated that it might be interesting to look at Klee's drawings in the context of his theories about graphic energy, which in turn led me to the published writings of the scientists involved in the energetics-atomist controversy. Knowing that I could not complete my research without examining a copy of the original book ,I filled out an interlibrary request form in hopes that some library would send its rare copy of the German edition of Voltaire's Kandide with illustrations by Klee. I was not very optimistic, but a few days later I received a note from Gaylor Callahan that read: "Try upstairs in Special Collections." Not only did Jackson Library own a copy, but Emmy Mills even allowed me to have it photographed for the first publication I completed here at UNCG."