"What is Literature?" and Other Essays

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qWhat is Literature?q remains the most significant critical landmark of French literature since World War II. Neither abstract nor abstruse, it is a brilliant, provocative performance by a writer more inspired than cautious. qWhat is Literature?q challenges anyone who writes as if literature could be extricated from history or society. But Sartre does more than indict. He offers a definitive statement about the phenomenology of reading, and he goes on to provide a dashing example of how to write a history of literature that takes ideology and institutions into account. This new edition of qWhat is Literature?q also collects three other crucial essays of Sartre's for the first time in a volume of his. The essays presenting Sartre's monthly, Les Temps modernes, and on the peculiarly French manner of nationalizing literature do much to create a context for Sartre's treatise. qBlack Orpheusq has been for many years a key text for the study of black and third-world literatures.The bad novel aims to please by flattering, whereas the good one is an exigence and an act of faith. But above all, the unique ... subjection of man by man. One can imagine a good novel being written by an American negro even Why Write?

Title:"What is Literature?" and Other Essays
Author:Jean-Paul Sartre
Publisher:Harvard University Press - 1988


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