Preface to the complete project

PERSONAL AGENDA consists of three books:

Book one, a collection of notes, correspondence and other documents, dating from January 1999 to May 2003.

Book two was written between May and December 2003. In contrast to the first book, the material in this part was written with the acute awareness that I was indeed working on a project.

– The last period could not have been punched in before I was happy that I have said enough, for now. Book three was written in January and February 2004.

My initial working title for the project was simple: “Brand’s Book”. By the time I made the first print-out of what is now BOOK ONE, I had changed the title to “About potato salad and other important issues” (I even wrote an essay about my favourite side dish).

After I had completed the second postscript to the first book, the idea of a “personal agenda” presented itself to me. I liked the honest nature of it. The phrase is often used in gossip, to warn others that the concerned individual has an “agenda” and that this sometimes mysterious business is his first priority. It was important for me not to wait until someone else shed light on my agenda, to explain my agenda to me, as it were. I wanted to make it clear from the cover and the title page: To a large extent the material in this project describes a personal agenda.

As it often goes with these types of things, the process of discovering the details of this agenda and articulating it touched on themes that extended well beyond just my own sometimes insignificant existence.

(28 July 2004)