Lectures by Eli Siegel, Founder of Aesthetic Realism

Lectures given by Eli Siegel in the Aesthetic Realism classes he taught for decades have been serialized in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, edited by Ellen Reiss

The 25,000 books now in the Eli Siegel Collection were used by Mr. Siegel in the lectures presented online here, and so many more, all of which he gave extemporaneously.

arrowPoetry and Women in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, no. 1525-1529

Writes Ellen Reiss in the Editor's Commentary:  "We begin to serialize the historic lecture Poetry and Women, which Eli Siegel gave in 1949. So much in women’s lives has changed since then. Women now do just about everything men do. Yet though it is expected that girls play soccer, and female doctors and lawyers abound, and no one is surprised to see a woman wield a hammer, there is still a difference between woman and man. The question What is a woman? remains."  Includes discussions of 16th-century poet Louise Labé, 17th-century Mary Chudleigh, Caroline Norton (1808-77), Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Virginia Woolf. Begin this serialized Aesthetic Realism lecture here.
(4) Two Women
(5) To Be Herself
line

arrowSelves Are in Economics in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, no. 1511-1521

Writes Ellen Reiss in her Editor's Commentary:  "Eli Siegel saw what other economists have not: the chief matter in economics is the human self in its fulness, the self of every person. Economics is connected to the same self in each of us that hopes, loves, is bewildered, wants to understand who we are..." arrowBegin this serialized Aesthetic Realism lecture here.
line

arrowEducational Method Is Poetic in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, no. 1448-1457

"I’ve called this talk 'Educational Method Is Poetic.' I use the word poetic carefully, and persons listening should judge whether that is a flamboyant title or is essentially true. The material for such a talk, of course, is all over the world...." — Eli Siegel Begin this serialized Aesthetic Realism lecture here.
line

arrowAesthetic Realism and Nature in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, no. 1417-1423

(4)  There Are Whales, Too
(5)  With & Against Nature
(6)  Logic: A Product of Nature
(7)  Nature Is Unity and Variety

line

arrowOwnership, Strikes, Unions in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, no. 1356-1366

Writes Ellen Reiss in her Editor's Commentary:  Ownership, Strikes, Unions...is one of the "Goodbye Profit System" lectures--in which Mr. Siegel described, documented, and explained something enormous taking place in world economics and within people....By the spring of 1970...the profit system, a way of using human beings that had always been ugly, was now irrevocably crippled....And even more than in the1970s, there is an anger across America [now]...a fury in people about the way they are seen on the job: contemptuously, in terms of...profit.  Begin this serialized Aesthetic Realism lecture here.
line

arrowPoetry and Keenness in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, no. 1314-1323

"Keenness is in poetry because it is one of the big things in life. A person has a cheek; a person has fingernails. There are points in our body, and wide surfaces and smooth surfaces. Keenness is the world coming to a point, the world being sharp. In keenness, aesthetically speaking, there are four things: cuttingness; piercingness; neatness; and depth. And keenness is a sign that there is an interior, a dimension." — Eli Siegel arrowBegin this serialized Aesthetic Realism lecture here.


(6)  Beyond Surface

(7)  The Senses and the Self
(8)  More about Keenness
(9) Whole Vision
(10) Keenness Divides and Joins

line

arrowAnimate and Inanimate Are in Music and Conscience in TRO no. 1291-1301

"I found that the depths of Aesthetic Realism could be shown in a rather new way through music. And strangely enough, the most modern things in music, the most difficult things, are the most useful there. The fight between structure and emotion, between emotion and music almost as solid geometry, does go on. And there are terms that concern conscience—the earlier term polyphony, the new one polytonality, also atonality. And I hope to show that looking at these things is a way of seeing conscience too." — Eli Siegel arrowBegin this serialized Aesthetic Realism lecture here


(7)  Mahler: Awesome and Frail
(8)  Conflicts in Music
(9)  Music: Pain and Pleasure
(10) Junction, Separation, Evil
(11) The Melody of Conscience

line

arrowPoetry and History in TRO no. 1385-1393

From the editor's commentary by Ellen Reiss:  Mr. Siegel wrote and lectured much on history.  His scholarship in the field was immense.  And--whether he was speaking about Wat Tyler or John Adams, the French Revolution or the Spanish Civil War--the events and the feelings of the time became real to those who heard him, as close to you as the very clothes you were wearing...[and] you had a sense always (it's in the lecture we're serializing) of largeness--you felt the bigness of reality....Begin this serialized Aesthetic Realism lecture here.
line

RESOURCES