Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gwe: Young Man of New Guinea -- A Novel Against Racism

I love this book by Arnold Perey, Aesthetic Realism consultant and anthropologist.  I respect Dr. Perey immensely.  This novel has both deep, stirring feeling and careful, interesting description, observation that is both scientific -- truthful -- and lyrical.  It moved me profoundly.  Arnold Perey studied and did field work in New Guinea.  This is from his introduction to Gwe:  

"How we meet the new, with contempt or the desire to know, is the test of our intelligence and our ethics. In "The Island" Lord Byron wrote:  
    The white man landed: need the rest be told?
    The New World stretch'd its dusk hand to the Old. 
     The dusk hand is the kind hand of Polynesia, the hand of the beautiful Neuha, who loves a shipwrecked Scots sailor and saves his life. Her people and the sailor both meet the new with good will. Byron shows that light and dark humans can care for each other on an Island.  
     The dusk hand of the New World was extended to me on another Pacific island, New Guinea. I was there, in the mountains, conducting anthropological research for my doctoral dissertation, supported by the National Science Foundation and the US Public Health Service. Margaret Mead was my sponsor for this dissertation, and for her integrity and truly scientific, inquiring mind, I am most grateful.  
     I am also grateful to the people who welcomed me, most particularly Wepil, of the Nguna clan. Wepil translated for me faithfully and accurately from the beginning of my stay in Papua New Guinea.  
     The theme of our story was suggested to me by Eli Siegel, the great poet and critic, in an Aesthetic Realism class when I had returned from the field and was studying the important philosophy he founded in New York City. Could you write, he asked, about a person of New Guinea who meets an anthropologist like yourself, and how they change?  
     Gwe is that person, and Alan Hull is the anthropologist. Gwe is pronounced "Gway." Gwe is based on young men I knew and learned from, including Sania, Gitlep from Gaugutiana, Abineng, and of course Wepil."  

It is a beautiful book.  There are chapters on Dr. Perey's website, but I recommend reading the whole thing. It changes how a person feels about race, people, the world.    

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The most anti-racism book I know

The most anti-racism book I know?  This is it:
"Self and World, An Explanation of Aesthetic Realism," by Eli Siegel.
Why anti-racism?
It's the deepest, most compassionate and clearest description of people and how we come to see the world that I've ever read.  It is also very funny, and you recognize aspects of yourself in so many of the characters Eli Siegel writes about, and learn from them all.  The chapter titled "The Child" is a must-read for every person who has to do with children.  "Love and Reality" explains what people are hoping for in love, and what can go wrong between two people who care for each other.  "The Aesthetic Method in Self-Conflict" shows how we are hoping, in our ordinary lives, to literally be like art, to put together opposites the way a beautiful line of poetry or a great concerto does.  "Psychiatry, Economics, Aesthetics" tells of the relation between every individual and the great multitudinous economy and nation that we find ourselves part of, and what is the difference between the purpose of art and the purpose of acquisition.
What does guilt come from?  What is a good use of our imagination, and where can our imaginings hurt us?  Dreams, what are they about?  This book answers these questions.  And there is more, and more...
These are questions of every individual of every century.  They are not Black questions, White questions, Asian questions, Latino questions!  They are human questions.          

Monday, October 13, 2014

Intelligence: what is it?

Here is a definition by Eli Siegel that I love -- and it will be seen that it has nothing whatsoever to do with race: "Intelligence is the ability of a self to become at one with the new.  Click on the link to find out more about how Aesthetic Realism explains this important, mysterious, and controversial subject.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Racism: Understanding the Cause and Solution, at the Aesthetic Realism Online Library

Anyone interested in ending racism needs to know what is here, Racism: Understanding the Cause and Solution, at the Aesthetic Realism Online Library.  You will find articles that are powerful and precise, scholarly and scintillating, showing that racism is not only unkind but simply wrong -- unfounded.  Using anthropological study, current events, literature and science, the history of the world and of the United States, natural history, educational data, statements by people of different ethnic backgrounds, and more, the authors explain why racism has occurred in history and now, and what can be done to finally eradicate it.  Anyone interested in this subject needs to know what is here.