They shouldn't let people like me attend used book sales, but now that the damage is done: how and where to begin reading Sartre?
I've realized lately that I have accumulated a fair amount of Sartre's writings and could probably make up the remainder among the libraries I frequent. But apart from reading The Age of Reason ten years ago, I've never made an attempt to explore his contributions to philosophy (or actually that of any 20th-century philosopher apart from a little Wittgenstein, an anomaly that I haven't approached all that well and am shelving for the moment). This is mostly because I've never felt myself to be in the proper mindset, and while that seems to be changing slowly, I feel unprepared to begin and lost as to how to prepare. Off the internet, I read very little serious contemporary writing, and spend the majority of my reading time in the head of people who died before 1900; 1650 (in Europe, anyway) is less foreign to me than 1950- this applies to art, music, politics, etc. as well, so that my ability to contextualize, which has been extremely important in my reading of other philosophers, is not there. So, I have a bit of work to do before I charge in like a complete idiot. I'm hoping you can tell me:
1) What non-Sartre things ought to be read first, or at the same time, in order to have the right references and to grasp most thoroughly his books in general, or individually?
2) If not chronologically, in what order could he be read for the best understanding? What have you found most personally rewarding?
Any other advice (apart from exhortations to dive in without any preparation) also appreciated. I do plan on looking into the usefully-named How to Read Sartre
, but want and need whatever help I can find. Thanks!