Current & recent issues of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known

What Is Meaning—in Art & Our Lives?

July 11, 2018

Issue #1983

We are serializing the lecture It Still Moves; or, The Novel, which Eli Siegel gave in 1951. It is
exciting, profound, vivid. It shows what the novel, of any time and place, is. And as it shows that, it is also about the life of every one of us. The lecture is an exemplification of this landmark Aesthetic Realism principle: “The world, art, and self explain each other:
each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites.”

In the present section, as he looks at the elements of the novel, Mr. Siegel speaks about meaning. That is a word that concerns people’s lives very much, and often very painfully. Millions of people right now have the feeling that large meaning is absent from their lives. They don’t know what meaning is—they may even tell themselves there’s no such thing. But they miss it. They have the What-does-it-all-come-to feeling; the Is-that-all-there-is feeling....more

What the Novel Is—& Why It Matters

June 27, 2018

Issue #1982

It is an honor to begin to serialize a lecture great in the understanding of art and of everyone’s life: It Still Moves; or, The Novel, by Eli Siegel. In this 1951 discussion he speaks about what the novel is, must have—the novel of any type, any year, any place. Later in the lecture he comments on many individual novels, some quite swiftly, but in every instance centrally, definitely. And as he does, his own prose—here, spoken prose—is some of the most beautiful in English.

He begins the lecture speaking about the elements of the novel, and the first section is about narrative, or narration. Many, many critics have discussed narration, and it’s a standard topic in writers’ workshops. But as Eli Siegel looks at narration, there is something that never occurred before and could only occur through the knowledge of Aesthetic Realism: he shows that the technique of a good novel is about us—it has what we want in our lives, does what we want to do....more

Brightness—in the World & Our Thoughts

June 13, 2018

Issue #1981

Here is the conclusion of Poetry and Brightness, by Eli Siegel. In this remarkable, great lecture of 1949 one can see some of the richness and vital truth of the principle at the basis of Aesthetic Realism: “The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites.”

In the final section Mr. Siegel speaks about two people, one ever so famous, the other much less known today: the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), and the writer on nature Richard Jefferies (1848-87). Mr. Siegel speaks about the love and difficulty both had in relation to the big opposites this lecture is so deeply about: light and dark. He has discussed each of these writers elsewhere too; he spoke on Shelley—his poems and other writings—many, many times over the years, mightily and definitively....more

What Is Brightness? or, Justice to Words & Reality

May 30, 2018

Issue #1980

We are serializing a lecture that Eli Siegel gave nearly seven decades ago, in 1949. It is Poetry and Brightness, and in our last issue I called it “amazing and beautiful.” Mr. Siegel shows that the idea ofbrightness is fundamental to the biggest matters that concern humanity, which means the life of every one of us.

In the present issue, we see him speaking about brightness in relation to religion, love, what the self most deeply is, and what can be called economic justice—a just ownership of the world....more

The Right Of is edited by Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, who is author of its commentaries.

The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known online:

*Current Issues: The most recent issues in which Aesthetic Realism explains the news, happenings in people's lives, events in history, and some of the most moving works in literature.

*National Ethics: What honest criteria can we use to be good critics of ethics on the national and international levels? Aesthetic Realism looks at ethics as to loyalty, international affairs, & more.

*Literature / Poetry: Discussing many great works of poetry and prose. Criticism, wrote Eli Siegel compactly, is showing "a good thing as good, a bad thing as bad, and a middling thing as middling."

*Love: How Aesthetic Realism describes the purpose of love—"to like the world honestly through another person." Discussion of what interferes with having real love—today and in history.

*Racism—the Cause & Solution: The Aesthetic Realism understanding of contempt as the cause of racism, and the place of aesthetics in respecting, pleasurably, people different from oneself.

*The Economy: Why our economic system has failed to meet the needs of the American people, and the Aesthetic Realism understanding of good will as the basis for successful and fair economics

*Education: The success of the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method in having students learn to read and write—learn science, social studies, art, every subject—and be kinder, less angry, less prejudiced.

*Eli Siegel Day in Baltimore: Talks given on August 16, 2002, Eli Siegel's Centenary, placing Mr. Siegel and Aesthetic Realism, his work, in terms of world culture and history.

*Art: "Aesthetic Realism sees the purpose of art as, from the beginning, the liking of the world more..."

*Archives: The rich education provided by Aesthetic Realism in issues of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known which are online.

Aesthetic Realism Foundation online

The most comprehensive source of information about Aesthetic Realism is the website of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation—and the sites connected to it, including this one. You can start, for instance, at the Foundation's home page. Then, go on to biographical information about Eli Siegel, who founded Aesthetic Realism in 1941. You will see how the education he began teaching in those years continues now in Aesthetic Realism consultations and in public dramatic presentations and seminars at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation—as well as in the Foundation's Outreach Programs for seniors, young people, libraries, teachers. Meanwhile in the schools of New York, the dramatically effective Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method has enabled students to learn, to love learning, and to pass standardized examinations for four decades. And artists since 1955 have exhibited at the Terrain Gallery for which many have written commentaries (including on their own works), based on the philosophic principles of Aesthetic Realism. You can read about Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, online, as well as about every person on the faculty of the Foundation. As editor of TRO her commentaries are in every issue (see, e.g., "Nature, Romanticism, & Harry Potter"; "Clothing and Emotion"; and "Jobs, Discontent, and Beauty"). In the Aesthetic Realism Online Library, you'll find the largest single repository of reviews, articles in the press, lectures, poetry; and The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known. In 2002, Eli Siegel' s centenary, the Governor of Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore, the city where he grew up, wrote on the meaning to America of Aesthetic Realism and its founder. So did the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, in the U.S. Congressional Record.

Selected Resources online

People in America's diverse professions—the humanities, the arts, education, the social sciences, medicine, labor—have written on the value of Aesthetic Realism. They describe the way Aesthetic Realism teaches people how to understand themselves more accurately; how the ability to be just to other people is enhanced; how one's professional attainments are augmented. Language arts teacher Leila Rosen, for example, writes on the Aesthetic Realism teaching method. Anthropologist Arnold Perey writes on the way Aesthetic Realism opposes prejudice and improves international understanding. And there are many others. Historically, new knowledge has often been met unjustly. This was true about the new, innovative thought of Louis Pasteur and John Keats, Beethoven and William Lloyd Garrison, Jonas Salk and Isaac Newton. And it has been true about Aesthetic Realism. Documenting and opposing this, the website "Friends of Aesthetic Realism — Countering the Lies," written by more than 60 individuals, refutes the falsehoods of the few persons who have attacked Aesthetic Realism and lets the facts speak for themselves. People who want to express their opinion of Aesthetic Realism, and have the knowledge to back it up, have created blogs and websites and have written numerous articles. See, for example, composer and educator Edward Green; essayist Lynette Abel; photographer Len Bernstein; teachers Ann Richards, Christopher Balchin, and Alan Shapiro. Others are listed in "What People Are Saying." The education of Aesthetic Realism enables a person to understand oneself more exactly than has been possible before, and to like the world honestly, authentically.

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