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

Yes—Love, Pleasure, & Self-Respect!

July 12, 2017

Issue #1957

We are proud to publish a section of an Aesthetic Realism lesson conducted by Eli Siegel in 1970. The consultations that take place now at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, and by Skype and telephone, arise from the lessons Mr. Siegel gave. The basis was always this landmark principle: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” And always, Mr. Siegel saw the very particular person having the lesson as related to art, science, history, the world itself.

In those lessons, which Mr. Siegel gave between 1941 and 1978, something happened that was new in human history: people felt truly understood, to their depths and in all their subtlety, and were learning, on a logical basis, how to understand themselves. As a result, one’s life changed grandly, richly, accurately for the better. That is an objective statement, but it also has my own living gratitude in it—because I am one of the people who, within that short period of history, had Aesthetic Realism lessons. I met the immense kindness and knowledge of Eli Siegel in relation to my own questions, hopes, life....more

About Books and Marriage

June 28, 2017

Issue #1956

We conclude here our serialization of Reading Itself Has to Do with Poetry, by Eli Siegel. This 1972 lecture has his vast knowledge and scholarship at one with ease, humor, everydayness. And we see: reading as such is described—as poetry and all art are—by the Aesthetic Realism principle “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.”

Using passages from the book Good Reading, edited by J.S. Weber, Mr. Siegel has been speaking about such opposites as randomness and plan, wandering and point. Now, much present though unstated in the section printed here, is the question How is the way a writer has seen and portrayed a character different from how we see people? Also: What makes a literary work immortal? Aesthetic Realism is the knowledge that answers those questions....more

Reading, Anger, & Beauty

June 13, 2017

Issue #1955

Here is part 3 of the great 1972 lecture Reading Itself Has to Do with Poetry, by Eli Siegel. He is showing that not only the works one might read but the very process of reading is described in this Aesthetic Realism principle: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” Looking at passages from the book Good Reading, edited by J.S. Weber, he speaks about spontaneity and order, wandering and point, freedom and plan—opposites that are one in poetry and all art. They are our opposites too, are in us all the time—so often in a way that confuses us, brings us turmoil, has us dislike ourselves.

Here too is part of a paper by Matthew D’Amico, from a recent public seminar titled What Do Men Need Most to Know about Their Anger? He illustrates this fact: Aesthetic Realism is the knowledge that explains anger. It enables us to distinguish between anger that’s good, strengthening, kind, intelligent and anger that’s hurtful, stupid, cruel, shame-making—and enables a person to stop having the latter. The difference depends centrally on this: is the purpose of our anger to respect the world or to have contempt for it?...more

Reading, Talking, & the Battle in Self

May 31, 2017

Issue #1954

We continue serializing the 1972 lecture Reading Itself Has to Do with Poetry, by Eli Siegel. It is surprising, playful, deep, hopeful, definitive. Mr. Siegel is showing that reading as such—what goes on as one reads, what reading takes in—is a poetic matter, an aesthetic matter: it is described in this principle—“All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.”

He speaks in particular about the opposites random and plan. These are large in the life of everyone, and people have been very troubled about them. For example: a person can feel that the matters in her life lack coherence, that she just goes from one activity to another, one thought to another, without a sense of composition, and therefore without a feeling of meaning. This is a randomness that has things seem disconnected and rather empty, and it makes one feel angry and ashamed. But a person can also be pained because she is afraid of spontaneity: Oh, why do I feel I have to map out everything—why can’t I meet life more freely?...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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