Nancy Huntting, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes:
What’s the big meaning—for our lives, and for art—of relation? And in our relations with other people—how can we be honestly self-confident? Read “How We See Relation,” the great new issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known.
The commentary by Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends:
It is an honor to begin serializing the 1972 lecture Hail, Relation; or, A Study in Poetry, by Eli Siegel. And we print here too part of a paper by Jaime Torres, from an Aesthetic Realism public seminar of last month: “What Do Men Need Most to Know about Self-Confidence—& Conceit?”
I remember hearing Mr. Siegel say that there is no word more important than relation. Aesthetic Realism itself arose from his passionate and scholarly search for the relation among things—all the things of the world. In a 1944 article on him in the Baltimore Sun, Donald Kirkley writes that years earlier, even before the time Eli Siegel won the 1925 Nation poetry prize,
he wanted to investigate the whole reach of human knowledge, past and present….He thought “all knowledge was connected—that geology was connected with music, and poetry with chemistry, and history with sports.”… He wished to find something, or some principle, unifying all the various manifestations of reality.
And as Kirkley writes, Eli Siegel found that all-inclusive, vital, inescapable, beautiful relation. It is in this Aesthetic Realism principle: “The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites.”
As a prelude to the lecture, I’ll mention swiftly some of the ways that how we see relation is crucial in choices we make, including unconscious choices.
Why Love Fails
The chief reason for the suffering in love, the failure in love, is that a person resents the “loved one’s” relation to the outside world. The man or woman we care for has to do with everything: for instance, he has in him his whole past, with all its details; a book he cares for; the people he works with; a relative; a friend; things he’s confused about; events in the news. He is a particular composition of the opposites which are in all things and people. For instance: he is surface and depth—and so are a leaf; American history; a crying child in India. Further, sameness and change are going on in each of them—and him. And leaf, US history, crying child are, each, unity and manyness, order and stir—as he is. >>Read more