Aesthetic Realism & Life / Lynette Abel

Here I write about what I have learned from Aesthetic Realism, the education founded by American philosopher and poet Eli Siegel.

In newpaper articles and in publicly-presented papers, I have written about personal and national concerns and their relation.  And here too, are some current articles written by friends and colleagues about issues affecting America and the world today, published in various newspapers throughout the country. 

I live in New York City and love it here.  When I was 23, I began to study the education I write of on this website.  For instance, how a person is related to everything else—and the place of art in understanding this—is outlined in the principle "The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites."

For more about this, see the Aesthetic Realism  Foundation Online Library and biographical information about Eli Siegel. And a current schedule of classes, seminars, and special events can be found on the Foundation's Calendar.

It was the greatest pleasure and richest life experience to have attended Aesthetic Realism classes given by Mr. Siegel which I attended in the years from 1973 to 1978. I have selected to include here reports of some of those classes—of scholarly, humorous, moving talks he gave on a wide diversity of subjects—on literature, music, the social sciences, national ethics, economics, the human self, and so much more. 

Today, my education continues in professional classes taught each week by Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, Ellen Reiss, whom I love and respect for her honesty, scholarship, and great kindness.

Reading, Talking, & the Battle in Self

This is the title of issue 1954 of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known.  It is based on this principle stated by Eli Siegel “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” 

In her commentary, editor Ellen Reiss writes:

"In the lecture [Reading Itself Has to Do with Poetry], Mr. Siegel quotes from the book Good Reading, edited by J. Sherwood Weber (1964). It’s a work that offers both advice about reading and lists of books with brief descriptions. As Mr. Siegel mentions various titles and as he comments on statements by contributing editors, he is illustrating through them what the world itself is: a oneness of randomness and plan. And there is this great fact, central to Aesthetic Realism: as we see, consciously, clearly, opposites as one, those very opposites become better related in us. “We are,” he wrote, “the way we know” (Self and World, p. 118).

Reading, Smartphones, & Trouble

From one point of view, there is much more reading today than ever before. People are reading, in terrific abundance, text messages, email, material on social media and throughout the internet. They’re reading these things on smartphones as they walk down the street, lie in bed—and are with others at meals, cultural events, business gatherings. The terms addiction and compulsion have been used for the attachment of millions of Americans to their smartphones. To read whole issue click here.

From "Rock 'n' Roll, the Opposites, &
 Our Greatest Hopes—A Celebration!"
and Other Musical and Educational Events

Kevin Fennell who is one of the best rock 'n' roll writers and critics today has written about Little Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips, Part II," and it is such an exciting paper, with musical examples throughout. In it, we see, how art and life are in a dynamic, inextricable relation.   "Anyone Who Had a Heart" by Burt Bachrach and Hal David, is sung by Carrie Wilson.   I'm proud to be one of the backup singers along with Meryl Nietsch-Cooperman & Ann Richards.  To see it as it appears on YouTube, click here.  I'm glad to have written about how the intimate and the wide are in the Beatles' great song "I Saw Her Standing There."

To hear "Carol of the Drum" or "Little Drummer Boy" by Harry Simeone, Katherine K. Davis, and Henry Onorati, performed  December 2011 by the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company as part of the Special Event "The Beauty and Urgency of Justice," click here.

A wonderful seminar paper by my colleague, Leila Rosen, is on this very important subject:  What in a Woman Herself, Interferes with Love? from an Aesthetic Realism seminar, with a discussion of Neil Simon's 1977 film The Goodbye Girl.

Reports of Aesthetic Realism Lectures Given by Eli Siegel

          "Freedom Is with Imagination" by Paul Abel

        "Instinct and Mme de Sevigne"

          "People Leave Each Other in Poetry"

        "Freedom and Order in Poetry" 

        "It Is, As It's Elsewhere

        The Miracle at Verdun, a play by Hans Chlumberg, discussed by Eli Siegel

        "Words Are Everywhere: Comedy and Tragedy Are Two of These" 

        Presence and Absence: A Consideration of the Arts and Sciences"

Shakespeare's Interesting" a talk given December 9, 1970, in which Eli Siegel uses an 18th century edition of the play Hamlet, with critics of the time, and E.M.W.Tillyard's Shakespeare's Problem Plays.

Aesthetic Realism Seminars

Ornament for L. Abel The Fight between Boredom and Awareness in a Woman's Mind
     Discusses the life & work of Frances Perkins, Secretary
of Labor
in FDR's administration.
         Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 

Ornament for L. Abel What's the Big Thing Women Need to Know about Power?
     Discusses the 19th century novel, Emma by Jane Austen 
      Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 

Ornament for L. Abel What's More Important: to Appreciate Rightly or Be Praised?
     Discusses the film The Sound of Music
      Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 

Ornament for L. Abel Beauty and the Beast; or, the Ethics of a Fairy Tale   

Ornament for L. Abel Despite Achievement & Praise—Why Can a Woman Feel Empty?
es portions of Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 
      Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 

Ornament for L. Abel Kindness is Criticism   Includes commentary on Jane Addams 

Ornament for L. Abel The Inability to Appreciate—What Does it Come From?
     Discusses the short story "The Garden Party" by Katherine Mansfield 
      Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 

Ornament for L. Abel A Woman's Dissatisfaction: Can It Be Beautiful?
     Commentary on the character Beatrice from William Makepeace
     Thackerary's Henry Esmond    Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 

Ornament for L. Abel  In Trying to Be Important, What Mistakes Do People Make?
      Discusses aspects of the novel Framley Parsonage, by Anthony Trollope 
        Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 

Ornament for L. Abel Woman's Determination: What Makes It Right or Wrong?  Page 1 Page 2 |Page 3 

Ornament for L. Abel Why Are Women Disappointed--& Do They Ever Want to Be?
   With some comment on the 1913 novel Pollyanna by Eleanor  H. Porter 
        Page 1 Page 2 Page 3

Ornament for L. Abel  The Intimate & Wide in the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There"

I am glad to reprint this important essay, The Ordinary Doom, in which Eli Siegel explains two large matters: why people feel unexpressed and not understood.

Special Presentations of Aesthetic Realism

"Power & Grace in Music, with a Note on Sincerity" from a Music: Aesthetic Realism presentation of October 26, 1975 given by Paul Abel       Page 1 Page 2

In 1946, Paul Abel began his career as an airline pilot. Several years later in 1949, Mr. Abel received his Master's degree in Music at Syracuse University, where he was on the faculty and taught voice.  Then in 1969, he began to study Aesthetic Realism in New York City in classes with its founder, Eli Siegel.  In 1975 he taught voice, using the Aesthetic Realism point of view.  This is the point of view of the essay presented here. What Mr. Abel sees about Verdi's Rigoletto, I believe, adds importantly to its beauty and value. --Editor

Other Aesthetic Realism Resources

The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method 
The Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company
Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism: A Biography
Friends of Aesthetic Realism—Countering the Lies
Michael Palmer, writer on life and sports 

The Aesthetic Realism Online Library
Len Bernstein, Photography Education
The Terrain Gallery / Aesthetic Realism Foundation
Aesthetic Realism: A New Perspective for Anthropology & Sociology
Alice Bernstein, writer, Aesthetic Realism Associate
Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education
About Eli Siegel
Eli Siegel's 'Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?'
Self and World: An Explanation of Aesthetic Realism
Anne Fielding, Actor, Director of the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Co.
Ruth Oron, Essayist, Aesthetic Realism Associate
Nancy Huntting, Aesthetic Realism Consultant
Kevin Fennell, writer, singer with the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Co.
Leila Rosen, HS English Educator, Aesthetic Realism Associate
Alan Shapiro, jazz musician, Aesthetic Realism Associate

Ornament for L. AbelHOMEbulletSITEMAPbulletSEMINARSbulletREPORTSbulletARTICLESbulletARTbulletLINKS bulletRESOURCES

Background image: Claude Monet, "Cliff near Pourville"

Lynette Abel









Twitter of LAFacebook of LA