A sort of introduction: a (long) original text by Manuel Coíto,Webminister and retired (but NOT tired) philosopher.
Translated from the Lutecian by Andrea Infamosa.
Curriculum is a latin word derived from the verb currere (“to run”) and the noun currus (“chariot”).
For the Romans, the word signified at the same time a diminutive of “race” (in the sense of an athletic competition), the place — “arena,” “battlefield,” “track” — where the race took place, and the “chariot” (two-wheeled vehicle), whether it be a racing model, a war model, or the one used in circus ludi.
It is in a figurative sense that we find the latin expression curriculum vitae (cf. Cicero) : “the arena of [a] life.”
From this point, we get carriera “chariot path,” in Italian — cf. vulgar latin carraria, derived from carrus (“chariot”) — and its equivalent in French (carrière) or English (career).
So, in modern languages (English, Spanish, French, etc.) what does curriculum actually mean? It is a pseudo-intellectual moniker designating the itinerary that each person appropriates, one’s individual path from phore (that which carries) to topic (that which contains) — the various stages, stops, highpoints, setbacks, etc. — which specifically characterize oneself.
If the goal is to be brief and to demonstrate that, after all, most lives happen at a rather slow pace, then one can add curriculum’s usual sidekick vitae (“of life, from life”), all while running the risk of saying too much about individual lives. This risk is nonetheless avoided since other genitive constructions, more obvious, like vitii (“about vice, about defects”), are completely excluded: perusing the range of one’s virtues is the only purpose of a curriculum vitae. But having very few vices is not everyone's case (even less, concerning the mythical saintliness of a Diva — note what Juliana Snapper has to say about “Perfection” on her page: Viva Voce.)
In summary, La vida breve : a short opera in two acts (not only the one by Manuel de Falla); we reproduce it in two words.
The least inappropriate term would be memories. But, admitting that we only remember ourselves is a way of giving up in the face of hopelessness; and to suggest that life is only made of memories is even more hopeless.
As for other formulations — like anecdotes, episodes, moments, scenes — the situation becomes frankly impersonal or theatrical: comedy or tragedy. And not everyone is a histrionic egotist.
Maybe we need other words, unofficial coinages like autobiogram, egologism, autogram, egotopic, etc. But they only have the veil of common language like “autobiography.”
By the way, why am I so attached to commonness ? Is this not a way of betraying the characteristics of a person one paradoxically calls an outlaw?
How can one successfully erase from their life path all the years of confinement incurred from so many different charges, chiefly artistic ones?
Juliana Snapper has been condemned — in absentia and without recourse — to years of confinement for traffic under duress of a series of egologisms, for the necessary misappropriation of various clichés, and for having remained willfully steadfast in disastrous circumstances. She will continue to work in order to be accused by bosses — little commanders up on their little chariots — and is readying herself for new charges: lyric interferences, fiddling with vocal processes, operatic forgeries, smuggled eroticisms, ear-fetichism, artistic breaking-and-entering by multidisciplinarity or other indecent oxymorons (“Listening vocality”), etc.
This seriously raises the question of voicelessness : her life of wandering has put her in situations which literally get her by the throat, and she dreads the outpouring of responses as much as the question. The way she will probably have to get out of such situations and the state it may put her in frightens her even more.
The question of my own voicelessness surfaces as well, since writing a good “CV” for Juliana Snapper would be a way of abstractly placing her amongst her competitors. Now, nothing is further from such an exercise in taxonomy than the unique path which properly describes Juliana Snapper: a person who cannot be classified other than by the expression outstanding.
The opening of a new racetrack might offer some more stimulating perspectives. Riding over the slaves who shined the wheels and tightened the whips, the chariots, hoping to conquer a bright future, turn around and around the racing ring.
When one ventures to write a curriculum vitae, it is an accepted strategy to start from the present and outline one’s battles backwards: a way of staying in front of the hurdle while taking advantage of the accumulated momentum to accomplish a better leap, leaving one’s roots, if necessary, in the margins.
This is how artistic lives are — with their voyages, setbacks, detours, and comebacks. One must be careful not to confuse the arena with the show, the parade with the battleground — some more amusing and others bloodier — unless we painstakingly sort them out before hoping to see names etched in stone someday.
Why complicate the measures to be taken, or linger much longer that good manners demand? Enter the ring to oust the elders, provided that one has a firm grip on the reins and the ability to dissimulate what is being done.
It is wise to follow a certain, rather limited number of steps: good ones, well chosen, with follow-through, coherence, and very few words which can suffice if life has been fully conceived.
Life could even be sung. A quick sketch of life: does music really have to be bound to the idea of a short lifetime (Vida breve) ?
What is left to explore, except in the arenas chronicled on the internet? As for the bosses, small or mighty, who may be formally tethered to the CV, they can ask Juliana Snapper for it by filling out the contact form.