''What is Literature?'' and Other Essays / Edition 1 available in Paperback
"What is Literature?" 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.
"What is Literature?" 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 "What is Literature?" 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. "Black Orpheus" has been for many years a key text for the study of black and third-world literatures.
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About the Author
Jean-Paul Sartre, the great figure of French literary and philosophical culture at mid-century, was the author of numerous works.
Steven Ungar is Professor of French and Chair of Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa and the author of Roland Barthes: The Professor of Desire.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Steven Ungar
What is Literature?
What is Writing
For Whom Does One Write?
Situation of the Writer in 1947
Writing for One's Age
Introduction Les Temps modernes
The Nationalization of Literature
A Note on the Texts