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

The Human Self—at Any Age

November 14, 2018

Issue #1992

Here is the final section of the 1953 lecture When Does Evil Begin?, by Eli Siegel. As I have described, it is one in a series he gave presenting his landmark explanation of Henry James’s novella The Turn of the Screw. That work of James has been seen as powerful—and it is; as about evil—and it is. Yet it has bewildered people: what is the evil—and who has and does it?

Mr. Siegel shows what other critics didn’t see—that the two lovely-appearing children, Miles and Flora, are going after evil, have evil. And he explains what no other philosopher or student of mind has seen: where all evil, injustice, cruelty begin....more

Literature, Children, & Bullying

October 31, 2018

Issue #1991

Here is part 2 of the lecture we are publishing in 3 parts: When Does Evil Begin?, by Eli Siegel. In 1953 he gave a series of talks, landmarks in literary criticism and the understanding of self, talks explaining and placing Henry James’s short novel The Turn of the Screw. One of these is the present lecture, in which he looks at several children of literature and history as a means of showing what impelled Miles and Flora, the child protagonists of that puzzling James novella.

In the series on The Turn of the Screw, he was explaining something humanity needs burningly to know—about good and evil, kindness and cruelty, justice and injustice: What is the source of evil, in a child or adult? Where does evil begin?...more

The Grandeur of Knowing—versus Contempt

October 17, 2018

Issue #1990

In this issue we begin a three-part publication of a great lecture by Eli Siegel on a tremendous subject. It is his talk of January 19, 1953, When Does Evil Begin?—the ninth in a series of lectures he gave in relation to Henry James’s novella The Turn of the Screw. From that series arose Mr. Siegel’s 1968 book James and the Children.

The Turn of the Screw has puzzled people very much. What was driving or affecting the two angelic-seeming children, Miles and Flora? Most critics have described them as ever so innocent, and the governess as bad. And for a long time there was the view that the mysterious evil taking place was of a sexual nature. Eli Siegel—in some of the most vivid, logical, subtle, thrilling of all literary criticism—made clear that the governess, who is also the narrator, is good, one of James’s very likable characters; that the story is definitely not about sex; and that Miles and Flora are impelled by that which Aesthetic Realism identifies as the impetus behind all injustice and evil: contempt. Contempt is “a false importance or glory from the lessening of things not oneself.” Reviewing James and the Children in Poetry magazine, Hugh Kenner wrote that it is “a reading so careful...and so candid it reduces most previous discussion to wilful evasiveness.”...more

Our Self: Known & Unknown

October 3, 2018

Issue #1989

It is an honor to publish here, in a condensed form, a vitally important, sheerly logical, beautifully remarkable lecture by Eli Siegel. He gave it on June 24, 1966, as part of a series on mental health. Our concise version of the talk can be titled What Impels Us—& Should We Want to Know It?

This lecture of 1966 was about the human mind of every year, and it was also topical, about events of then. Today it is about our minds—and about some of the largest matters in America right now.

Mr. Siegel speaks about the unconscious: what it truly is. And it is not the thing Freud described—lurking, darksome, shabby, lurid, and rather lewd. For much of the 20th century, Freud’s presentation of the unconscious both impressed people and had them feel that the depths of self were creepy and ignoble. The big thing, though, is that the Freudian “unconscious” was untrue: it did not correspond to what exists....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.

subscribe: email  |  subscribe: print

© Copyright 1999-2016 by Aesthetic Realism Foundation
A not-for-profit educational foundation