Sartre thought that meaning is essentially unfixed. Humans give an order and meaning to the world. We do not make the world, but we do give it meaning. To use the old example, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, it does make a sound, but it only means something when someone (a consciousness) is there to hear it and put it into a meaningful context.
As this project of making meaning via our relation to the world is never finished, a work of art is never finished. In fact, Sartre proposes that reading is similarly a never-ending, creative practice. Reading means something only as it is done. The tree falling in the forest means something only when it is heard. Reading any text means something only as it is read. "Beyond that, there are only black marks on paper." (from What is Literature: "Why Write?")
The writer writes to be read. Referring to the analogy (given that the tree is conscious), the tree falls to be heard. The inauthentic reader reads as if he is a...
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