“There is no art except for and by others”

In his essay What is Literature, Sartre theorizes that literature and other art is a social phenomena, in that an author writes for the reader and needs the reader for a complete performance of his or her work.  As per Stern (1967), “all the words of a book could be read one by one and still the meaning of the work would not emerge, were it not that the reader’s mind gives it meaning”.

Sartre calls this a ‘re-invention’ saying that “it is the conjoint effort of author and reader which brings upon the scene that concrete and imaginary object which is the work of the mind.”  Therefore..  There is no art except for and by others..

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7 thoughts on ““There is no art except for and by others”

  1. I like the commentary on the complementary symbiosis of the writer and the reader needed to complete the performance that is a book.

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