Resolutions for 2010

I am not a big “New Year’s Resolution” person, but the first day of the new year does provide a punctuation in time, so why not?

I will endeavor to renew friendships that had grown cold.

I will endeavor to take actions to learn Russian. (I have tried, but find I never can find the time to sit down for an hour a day, and I have never had the chance to be in a Russian-speaking environment where I had to speak more than the simplest Russian to survive.)

I will endeavor to improve my literary German and my command of German vocabulary and more complex grammatical forms and expressions.

I will try to work harder on behalf of the cause of liberty.

For the first, I have contacted a few people. For the second, I have fired up the Rosetta Stone and resolved to find time every day for that and for grammar and vocabulary drills. For the third, I bought during a recent stopover in Germany a number of novels from Herta Müller and have started Atemschaukel, and have recently read a few more short essays by Robert Musil, whose German is especially rich and challenging and whose ideas I believe to be important. (I need to improve my ready command of German vocabulary and to be challenged to think at the same time.) For the fourth, I am working to sketch out my schedule for the year and to think more carefully about how to work with the resources available to me and to increase both the amount of those resources and the effectiveness with which my colleagues and I can deploy them. (Today I have been working on reports on meetings I had for our libertarian friends in Afghanistan and on some important human rights cases in the Middle East, including Kareem and Ali Hussein Sibat.)

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6 Responses to “Resolutions for 2010”

  1. If you need more German lit, let me knowI, have a bunch just sitting on my shelves: Kafka, Grass, Mann, Maxim Biller, Rafael Seligmann, Tucholsky, etc . You might also want to dip into Clive James’ “Cultural Amnesia.” He’s fond of Alfred Polgar, Egon Friedell, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, and Stefan Zweig , just to name a few.

  2. Tom G. Palmer

    That’s very kind! I’ve got plenty of good German books to read, so no need on that score, but I will look into the Clive James book. (I’m also fond of Stefan Zweig, but not enthusiastic about him.) I just found James’s essay on one of my favorite writers, Jorge Luis Borges, on Slate, so I’ll start with that. Thanks!


  3. I read your list with interest. I made three resolutions myself: 1) to clear my desk (including finishing essays on Herbert Spencer and Jean-Jacques Rousseau; 2) to stop spending beyond my means, 3) to lose some extra kilos the traditional way, by exercising more and reducing my food intake (not going on a diet).

  4. Dear Harvey,

    Thanks for the link to the cool book site. Very helpful.

    Dear Hannes,

    Those are three good resolutions! I spent the day today literally clearing my desk, throwing away papers I don’t need and creating order out of chaos. I’m also (like many millions of others in the midst of the financial crisis) trying to get control of my budget and even trying to exercise more. Wise people think alike, it seems.

    All the best,

  5. All of these resolutions are interesting from a formal and semantic point of view. I hope you achieve them and that the achievement will fulfill you.
    However, i would have been happy to see one dedicated to having fun in Life. So i will add this one to your list if i may

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