The Hidden Curriculum: Fifth Elegy by Rainer Maria Rilke

This is the first translation made by The Hidden Curriculum, currently in its pilot form. This project will be an online audiobook library for artists, and will include essential texts translated into contemporary English. The translations will assemble a diverse set of texts that are deemed central to artistic production by individuals from different cultures, ethnicities, languages, gender identities, historical times, and geographies. 

The translations will be two fold: first by turning written texts into spoken and performed words; and second, by translating the original texts into colloquial English. This library will be a free resource for other artists, who will be able to download and listen to the texts as they work; as well as submit their own translations.

The Hidden Curriculum understands translation and language in the broadest, most creative and expansive way. Someone may translate a 19th century text into contemporary slang-–a translation across time. Someone else may argue that hacking is essential to our culture and that a formative text from that sub-culture needs to be part of the curriculum -and sing it. Or someone may translate a Korean, Spanish, or Portuguese text into colloquial English. Likewise, other contributions may translate English texts into other languages.

The Hidden Curriculum project is being developed by a working group of CUNY (City University of New York) graduate students and faculty: Clara Chapin Hess, Adam Golfer, Miatta Kawinzi, Gabriela Vainsencher, Daniel Alexander Matthews, Ishai  Shapira Kalter, Paola Di Tolla, Arkadiy Ryabin, Alix Camacho, Estefania Velez, Eric Magnus, Katy McCarthy, Rebekah Smith, and Paul Ramirez Jonas.

For today’s blog we offer our very first translation. It was made by the entire group:

The poem Fifth Elegy by Rainer Maria Rilke.

The original is unfaithful to the translation.  ―Jorge Luis Borges


About the Contributors: The Hidden Curriculum is Clara Chapin Hess, Adam Golfer, Miatta Kawinzi, Gabriela Vainsencher, Daniel Alexander Matthews, Ishai  Shapira Kalter, Paola Di Tolla, Arkadiy Ryabin, Alix Camacho, Estefania Velez, Eric Magnus, Katy McCarthy, Rebekah Smith, and Paul Ramirez Jonas.