Unformatted text preview: It was on his release from prison that Voltaire adopted the name by which he is now known universally, Aurot de Voltaire. The aristocratic particle de is of special interest since he belonged to a bourgeois family. This indeed points to the fact that he was determined to rise in the world. The most common explanation of the name is that it is an imperfect anagram of Arouet, l.j. (le jeune), but other explanations have been advanced. Some have believed that it was an older name on his mother's side of the family; still others argue that it was derived from his schoolboy sobriquet, le volontaire. The tragedy Œ dipe, first acted in November 1718, was an immediate success, enjoying a run of forty- five days. Now Voltaire was welcomed back to Paris as a gifted tragic poet. But his reputation for writing lampoons and other satiric verse directed against public figures was too great for him to avoid...
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- Fall '11