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What is Literature? (1948)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0415254043, Paperback)Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the most important philosophical and political thinkers of the twentieth century. His writings had a potency that was irresistible to the intellectual scene that swept post-war Europe, and have left a vital inheritance to contemporary thought. The central tenet of the Existentialist movement which he helped to found, whereby God is replaced by an ethical self, proved hugely attractive to a generation that had seen the horrors of Nazism, and provoked a revolution in post-war thought and literature. In What is Literature? Sartre the novelist and Sartre the philosopher combine to address the phenomenon of literature, exploring why we read, and why we write.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:00 -0400)
In a probing philosophical exploration of the act of literary creation, Sartre asks: "What is writing?," "Why write?," and "For whom does one write?" After discussing existentialism as it pertains to art, human emotions, and psychology, French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre turns the question of existentialism to the subject of literature by stating that he wishes to "examine the art of writing without prejudice." Sartre eschews the idea of artists and writers comparing their works of art to one another; instead, he argues, "they exist by themselves." Tying into his thoughts on literature, Sartre additionally delves into Marxist politics, the intellectual labor of the writer, the individual reader, and the reading public.
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