Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known

The current issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, which is titled "People, Literature, & Evolution" includes another section of Eli Siegel's magnificent lecture, "Poetry Is of Man." There is also a very funny, very ethical essay by Carol McCluer, actress and writer.

Every section of this journal opposes racism. For instance, the opening commentary by the editor, Ellen Reiss, takes three famous characters from literature and shows how each is described as aesthetic; that, I have learned, is what every good novelist does.

"The one effective opponent to the having of contempt for people," Ms. Reiss explains, "is aesthetics. It is to see that reality's opposites—such as rest and motion, high and low, mystery and everydayness, hope and fear, wildness and containment, complexity and simplicity, history and the moment—are richly, vibrantly, inevitably in every person we may meet or hear of, from our uncle, to a stranger on the street, to a person with a different skin tone a continent away."

Isn't that fine?