Aesthetic Realism Consultant Nancy Huntting

Nancy Huntting
Nancy Huntting



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Selected Contents:

Intelligence in Love

Mistakes in Love

The Parthenon & Love

Generosity & Selfishness

Knowing Oneself

For & Against





Liking People

Pride & Prejudice


Our Hopes

On Cezanne

On Bruegel

And more. . .

Nancy Huntting on Rosalie c. 1963

Welcome to my website, where I'm glad to bring to people what I've learned from Aesthetic Realism, the philosophy founded in 1941 by the great American poet and critic Eli Siegel.

I'm proud to have seen that Aesthetic Realism is true: it explains the human mind and the world we are in with new respect and scientific exactness. It enables individual men and women to be fully what they hope to be!

I grew up near Cincinnati, majored in Literature at Denison University and moved to New York City, where I worked for Newsweek magazine and later had an antique store. It was then that I first attended an Aesthetic Realism public seminar. I was electrified by the honesty and scholarship of the speakers and what they were saying about art and life.

What Aesthetic Realism Is

I began to study these principles, stated by Eli Siegel, which are the basis of the philosophy Aesthetic Realism:

1.  The deepest desire of every person is to like the world on an honest or accurate basis.

2.  The greatest danger for a person is to have contempt for the world and what is in it....Contempt can be defined as the lessening of what is different from oneself as a means of self-increase as one sees it.

3.  All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.

I recommend the book Self and World: An Explanation of Aesthetic Realism and many other works by Eli Siegel in the Online Library. And there's the international journal The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known edited by Ellen Reiss. I quote from the commentary to the recent issue, "Music Is about Your Life":

"People are longing for criticism, the real thing. Every person, of course, has a seemingly insatiable desire for praise: to be told we’re wonderful, in excelsis, just as we are. Yet we know, even as we’re not clear about it, that there are things we dislike in ourselves, that are bad, that hold us back. We’re aching to hear from another where we need to be better, so that we can be better and meet our own hopes....The criticism people hunger for is criticism that has simultaneously good will and knowledge. That was Eli Siegel’s criticism always and mightily. And it exists in the education of Aesthetic Realism."

Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, TRO #1937

Listed to the left are some of the talks I've presented at public seminars, and a
rt talks in the Terrain Gallery series "Art Answers the Questions of Your Life!"

And there's more on my
Site Map. For instance I spoke with my colleagues at a seminar on "How Can Selfishness & Generosity Make Sense in a Woman's Life?" using the classic novel Manon Lescaut.

The education I'm receiving is what women are yearning for!

Here is an essay that I love and think everyone should know. I felt understood by it as I had never felt before: The Ordinary Doom, with its Preface, is from The Frances Sanders Lesson and Two Related Works

The Ordinary Doom

By Eli Siegel


The best thing about the present tendency in the world to tell all and show all in sex, is that it is an acknowledgment of man's desire to be known; and also his desire to know. We haven't yet come to the courage needed to have ourselves be seen and to see another fully. We make up for this by carnal nudity and subtlety.

The thing to be seen, though, is that nudity is not yet honesty. Skin takes the place of brave, graceful desire. Our bodies can glide, stalk, prance about all day in a state of non-vesture; but we ourselves hang on to wrappings.

A nymph of 600 B.C. by a Greek brook could show herself in one way quickly, entirely, by twitching off an ancient habiliment. We can still do this. We can prance around in unshielded epidermis.

But showing our feelings is something else. We cannot show our feelings unless we like what represents the world possibly seeing these feelings. We have to think that what is to know us deserves to know us before candor will be cared for by us adequately or used adequately. Our attitude to the world is still one of fear, one of contempt, and one of aloofness. This means that whomever we know, our attitude to that person will be one of fear, contempt, aloofness. Wrestling in bed does not annul this. Elaborate proximity of sections of body will not annul this.

The large inward catastrophe of today is: We let ourselves be pleased by and do what we can to please a person we still want to hide from, we still do not fully respect. The one way we can fully respect a person is to feel that that person deserves wholly to know us and it would be good for us to know that person.

The rift between sexual achievement and the happily and deeply being known, goes on, as it did in past centuries. To know a person is to know the universe become throbbingly specific. It is always the universe on two feet, with two eyes, and an articulate mouth. It is the universe we want to skip.

I believe that even today The Ordinary Doom can be used to see an unintermittent question in oneself. It can be used to see why sex often angers and makes for a dim, annoying vacuity. I hope the essay is used for knowledge. I hope Aesthetic Realism is cared for. I know of no better way of caring for oneself and what concerns one, is around one.
April 1974

The Ordinary Doom

He never spoke out. –Matthew Arnold on Thomas Gray

If we judge from history, we are doomed not to show our feelings; not to have them known. There have been many, many persons who have lived rather long lives, and who have been in many conversations; who yet did not show what was in their minds, what feelings they truly had. When people can't show their emotion, they are disappointed and resentful.
There are three large reasons, which are in close relation, for people's not having shown their feelings. The first is, feelings are hard to know; we don't know a feeling just because we have it. The second is, there is a kind of triumph or satisfaction in not showing the feelings we may know–in making them our own secret property. The third is, people have not been adequately interested in seeing, thoroughly, how we felt.

It is by now pretty well accepted that we are just as unknown to ourselves as something else may be. . . . more

NOTE. "The Ordinary Doom" first appeared in the journal Definition (1961), and was reprinted in A Book of Non-fiction, ed. Rev. Joseph T. Browne (NY: The Macmillan Company, 1965). The Preface was written to accompany the essay's publication in The Frances Sanders Lesson and Two Related Works (NY: Definition Press, 1974). Copyright by Definition Press 1961, 1974, 1986

Aesthetic Realism Foundation  | Terrain Gallery of the Aesthetic Realism Fdn.  |  Aesthetic Realism Online Library 
Short Biography of Eli Siegel
 |   Poetry of Eli Siegel   |   "The Immediate Need for Poetry"
The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known
(periodical)  |  Ellen Reiss, Editor

Background image:  Claude Monet, "Cliff at Grainval"
2016 Aesthetic Realism Consultant Nancy Huntting. All rights reserved