Nancy Huntting, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes:
What are people really hoping for in love? And what causes the anger and disappointment that so often accompany—or take the place of—what people thought was love? Reading this new issue of TRO, you’ll be thrilled by the understanding of what love really is—and of what in a person unknowingly works against love. You’ll be in the midst of culture—literature, poetry, philosophy, drama—and also feel your own puzzling self is being understood. Knowledge that people are thirsting for is in “Love, Knowing, & Values,” the current issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known.
The commentary by Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends:
We are serializing the amazing and definitive lecture Is Hope Worth Money?, which Eli Siegel gave in June 1969. In its comprehension of people and its literary might, the talk is based on this Aesthetic Realism principle: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” Here, Mr. Siegel is discussing the tremendous and bewildering opposites of fact and value in relation to emotion. He is showing that emotions are facts, which one needs to try to be exact about. And he is showing that accuracy about emotion can be—and that when it occurs, there are beauty and pride.
In the present section of the lecture, we’re in the midst of the big subject of love, and some values in relation to love. As he speaks of these, he is discussing aspects of what Aesthetic Realism shows are the two central warring values in everyone: 1) We have a desire to respect the world, see meaning—rich, vital meaning—in things; and this seeing of meaning is the value we were born to go for; it’s the purpose of our very lives. 2) However, we also have a terrific desire for a value opposed to meaning—for contempt, the value of making ourselves feel big by looking down on, dulling, dismissing, manipulating the world of other things and people. These values, one beautiful, one ugly, are present in every field of life, including the field of love.
Two Poems on the Subject
For example, Mr. Siegel comments here on lines from a poem of Tennyson, in which a young woman is trying to have power over someone, belittling him cutely while leading him on. This contempt-as-cuteness is disliked by Tennyson—even the youthful Tennyson, who, it seems, wrote the poem before he was 21….Read more