Aesthetic Realism Consultant Nancy Huntting
Welcome to my website, where I'm glad to bring to people what I've learned from Aesthetic Realism, the philosophy founded in 1941 by the great American poet and critic Eli Siegel.
I grew up near Cincinnati, majored in English Literature at Denison University, and moved to New York City where I first attended an Aesthetic Realism public seminar. I was electrified by the honesty and scholarship of the speakers, and what they were saying about art and life.
What Aesthetic Realism Is
of every person is to like the world on an honest or accurate basis.
"Take a woman who cannot concentrate on something important that she’s reading but must too often get up and look out the window, check her email, look for something on Ebay, wipe a countertop, text a friend, take a selfie with her dog, get something from the refrigerator. In her restlessness, she is dealing painfully, inaccurately, with opposites that are one in every instance of good music, motion and rest. The oneness of these opposites makes for beauty anywhere..." —Ellen Reiss, TRO #1993
Men Can Be Fair to Women!
Attending classes in the formal and exciting study of Aesthetic Realism, I was understood by Eli Siegel, seen with good will, and my life and mind were encouraged immensely. Here's just one example of his deep comprehension of humanity:
What Is Bitterness?
Introductory note by Martha BairdNo man was a more accurate critic of women than Eli Siegel; and no man ever respected women, honestly admired them, more than he. I say this as a woman and as his wife. Eli Siegel understood me, and I have heard many women in Aesthetic Realism lessons and classes say sincerely, “Eli Siegel, you understand women.” This is praise I do not believe another man has earned sincerely. Women are chary of nothing so much as saying any man can understand them.
A classic text on the subject is Mr. Siegel’s “A Woman Is the Oneness of Aesthetic Opposites” in Definition 18 (1964). Since Aesthetic Realism sees reality as the oneness of opposites, it stands to reason that every instance of reality, including a woman, would be that too. But one doesn’t feel understood until the particular way one has opposites is seen, and this is where Aesthetic Realism criticism becomes art.
Among the women Eli Siegel was a critic and admirer of is the 19th-century writer, now little known, Anna Jameson. Mrs. Jameson had a mind: she was an art critic and she wrote well of Shakespeare’s plays. She also suffered as a woman. In relating these two aspects of her, Eli Siegel says something of all women, and particularly—for this was his purpose—of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. The lecture from which this. excerpt is taken was given in 1969, when Mr. Siegel was presenting a new way of seeing Hedda Gabler.
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So, What Is