Voltaire: The Father of Sci-Fi?


On the 21st of November 1694, François-Marie Arouet, known under the pen name Voltaire, was born in Paris. This French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher, who was also a great enthusiast of science and empirical knowledge, was probably one of the most prolific authors of all times. Throughout his life he produced about 2,000 books and pamphlets under at least 178 separate pen names. He wrote also more than 20,000 letters. Such a huge number of writings implies a certain routine, discipline and technique Voltaire most surely must have applied in his work. A small insight into his genial method is provided by his letters to a young Claude Adrien Helvétius. The writer-to-be was seeking to woo fame by the rhymed Epistles on The Love of Study and on Happiness. This is the advice Voltaire gave him:

Cirey, February 25, 1739

My dear friend – the friend…

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