Nancy Huntting, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes:
What does art—in particular, that of romanticism— have to do with our social lives, our inner lives, and more? An important poem of romanticism, and the recent popular holiday Halloween, are the means to a new understanding of humanity in “The Ordinary, the Strange, & Ourselves,” the current issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known!
The commentary by Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends:
Here is the conclusion of Romanticism and Guilt, by Eli Siegel. This 1963 lecture is a cultural first, groundbreaking both as literary criticism and in the understanding of mind. Mr. Siegel shows that every new movement of art has arisen from artists’ welcoming of a deep guilt: the feeling, We have not seen the world, and things and people in it, fairly enough! We have shamefully summed up what beauty is! We must correct this terrible injustice!
Romanticism, which began around the start of the 19th century, was the movement that most richly and fundamentally honored, expressed, and acted on that guilt.
What’s Ordinary & What’s Strange
The two biggest aspects of romanticism have to do with opposites that trouble people very much: the ordinary and the strange. Romanticism said: Things and people you’ve taken for granted, seen as dull, seen as hardly magnificent—perhaps some scraggly vegetation, or a poor rural person with a rough cart—these have WONDER, MEANING! Romanticism said too: What you’ve seen as far away from you and ever so strange, like people of different lands, happenings of the distant past, and also what’s called the “supernatural”—all these have to do with you; they even stand for you….more