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Unformatted text preview: Although he continued to the end to write on literary subjects, they received less attention. All his life he had been convinced that all literature should teach, and he had used drama and tales for that very purpose. His works demonstrate his sustained interest in religious, political, social, and philosophical questions. But now he was not content merely to use belletristic literature as his medium. He became the active champion of tolerance and justice, emerging as an eighteenth- century Zola. Most notable is his Trait sur la tolerance (1763), which he wrote in defense of Jean Calais, who had been tortured and executed as a result of a religious controversy. This was effective enough so that Calais was recognized as the victim of judicial murder. The death of the young Chevalier de la Barre for alleged sacrilege led Voltaire to write another powerful tract that was effective in clearing the Chevalier's name. To note just one other example, he came to the rescue of effective in clearing the Chevalier's name....
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- Fall '11