What is literature? (French title: Qu'est ce que la littérature?) is a 1947 book by Jean-Paul Sartre. (Alternative title: Literature and Existentialism)
It is divided into three topics of discussion, What is writing? Why write? And for whom does one write? Sartre has written a complete historical encyclopaedia of the audience. In his analysis of the audience, he condemns the bourgeoisie as being devoid of culture, claims authors and poets are outside of language and are trapped, and states that the writer must write for a public which has the freedom of changing everything.
Sartre in this manifesto leaves aside the lonely man, from which existentialism is founded, and devises an understanding of the effect it has on its reader subject.