The reader is an "agent" who subjectively engages in a work, animating it and providing it with
objectivity, which is freedom as the use of will. Such imaginative participation is active and creative.
Sartre contrasts it with paintings in which everything is there before the eyes to be seen. It is a bit
mysterious that Sartre says that we are free to see what we like in a painting, that it is up to us to
choose, since this suggests freedom is also constitutive of appreciation of visual art too, so we must
be dealing with two different senses of freedom. It would be absurd for Sartre to say that visual art
cannot ever present us with facts about the human condition but it is does not provide us with the
freedom to engage subjectively with the work, as when we hate police magistrates because
Raskolnikov does. So it is not freedom as choice, but the freedom to create and come to know about
the human condition from our own activities. This is real freedom in the world since when we animate
the work we take it to be objective and truths about mankind are objective whether presented in
fiction or not. We don't live through and animate a picture like this. So the reader uses his freedom
however closely he is guided by what the writer presents.
The connection between freedom and truth may be essential to the creation of great works of art but
Sartre talks of "prose" generally and when words are used not to reveal man to man, but to persuade
or arouse emotion, as in journalism, the reader only has the freedom to disagree. Sartre would
probably find that rather a banal sense of freedom and not worth writing about.