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Jean Paul Sarte
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W. Fraser Sandercombe
""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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