The year 1883 in literature involved some significant new books.
- January 13 - World première of Henrik Ibsen's play An Enemy of the People (En folkefiende; 1882) at the Christiania Theatre.
- May 23 - Robert Louis Stevenson's children's pirate adventure novel Treasure Island is first published in book format, by Cassell in London.
- June 30–October 20 - Robert Louis Stevenson's novel The Black Arrow: A Tale of Tunstall Forest is serialized in the British magazine Young Folks as by "Captain George North". Stevenson completes writing it at the end of the summer in France.
- August - The first Carnegie library is opened in Andrew Carnegie's hometown, Dunfermline, Scotland.
- Mark Twain's memoirs Life on the Mississippi, published simultaneously in Boston (Massachusetts) and London, is the first substantial book submitted to a publisher as a typewritten manuscript.
- The Deutsches Theater company is formed in Berlin.
- The Modern Language Association forms.
- Frances Hodgson Burnett and William Gillette - Esmeralda
- François Coppée - Severo Torelli
- George Robert Sims - In the Ranks
- August Strindberg - Lucky Pehr
- Oscar Wilde - Vera; or, The Nihilists (first performed)
Main article: 1883 in poetry*Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy (posthumous) - History of the Russian State from Gostomysl to Timashev (parody)
- January 1 - Alberto Gerchunoff, Argentine writer (died 1949)
- January 6 - Khalil Gibran, poet, novelist (died 1931)
- January 10 - Aleksei Tolstoy, writer (died 1945)
- February 15 - Sax Rohmer, author (died 1959)
- March 9 - Umberto Saba, Italian poet and novelist (died 1957)
- April 30 - Jaroslav Hašek, Czech novelist (died 1923)
- June 3 - Franz Kafka, Czech novelist (died 1924)
- December 30 - Marie Gevers, Belgian novelist (died 1975)
- January 21 – Anna Eliza Bray, novelist (born 1790)
- March 14 – Karl Marx, philosopher (born 1818)
- April 24 - Jules Sandeau, French novelist (born 1811)
- May 23 - Cyprian Norwid, Polish poet, dramatist and artist (born 1821)
- June 20 – Gustave Aimard, novelist (born 1818)
- August 31 - Levin Schücking, German novelist (born 1814)
- September 2 - Léon Halévy, French historian and dramatist (born 1802)
- September 3 - Ivan Turgenev, Russian novelist (born 1818)
- December 13 – Victor de Laprade, poet and critic (born 1812)
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