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

The Novel—What It Tells Us

September 5, 2018

Issue #1987

Here is the conclusion of It Still Moves; or, The Novel. In this great 1951 lecture, Eli Siegel has been explaining not only what a novel is, but that which other critics—also novelists, also readers—have not known: what makes some novels beautiful; and how, in the technique of a good novel, are the answers to the questions of our own lives. At the basis of this talk is the principle “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.”

In the midst of this final section, Mr. Siegel says, “I mention for a while some novels of note.” And then he does something that is for me literally breathtaking. He comments on novels of many centuries, and because this is at the end of a single lecture, he has to be exceedingly brief about each; yet what happens stands for who Eli Siegel was, as critic, as scholar, and as a person. He gets to and has us feel what is central to each of the authors mentioned, and he also relates the various novels to each other—all in such a few words, and his sentences are beautiful...more

Justice to Feelings—& the Novel

August 22, 2018

Issue #1986

Here is the 5th section of Eli Siegel’s landmark 1951lecture It Still Moves; or, The Novel. He continues his discussion of character—of the ways novelists have approached the tremendous yet everyday matter of what a person is. In this section, as he speaks particularly about novels of the first half of the 20th century, what he says is mightily relevant to novels today, and also to us, our lives, our feelings. His basis is this great 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.”

Character in fiction, we see, is always a oneness of those huge opposites a self and the world not oneself. And that is what our own lives are about: how well do we put together a focus on our treasured self and the need to see rightly the wide and specific outside world—the world we were born to value, be affected by, know, like?...more

People in Novels—& Us

August 8, 2018

Issue #1985

We continue serializing Eli Siegel’s great lecture It Still Moves; or, The Novel. And in this issue we have the beginning of his discussion of character, personality, in fiction. He gave the lecture in 1951, and is commenting here on new ways novelists saw and showed the human self in the first half of the 20th century. Meanwhile, this Aesthetic Realism principle is true about what makes a novel of any century good, and that includes what causes a fictional character to be alive: “All beauty is a ma.king one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.”...more >

Ourselves—& What’s Around Us

July 25, 2018

Issue #1984

Here is the third part in our serialization of the 1951 lecture It Still Moves; or, The Novel, by Eli Siegel. He shows what the novel is, must have—whenever and wherever it is written. He shows what makes a novel beautiful, and why that matters. And as he does, we are seeing some of the meaning and richness—also urgency and cultural might—of 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.”

In the present section, Mr. Siegel speaks about the elements of character and environment, or place, in the novel, and the relation between them. Certainly, ever so many commentators on the novel have discussed those elements. But he is the critic who saw what no one else did: that character and place in fiction are forms of the biggest opposites in the life of every person: self and world. Both a character in a novel and all of us are meeting the world at every moment. And the world takes the form of other people—but, very much, it takes the form of place: what surrounds us, where we are....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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