a report by Anne Fielding of a lecture by Eli Siegel
On a Sunday afternoon in September 1963, at a Time Enough Poetry Class, I heard Eli Siegel read the first act of Hamlet. It was an important experience in theatre. Without smoke and dim lights, supernatural sounds or eerie music, there was the platform at Elsinore, with Bernardo, Marcellus, and Horatio waiting. There was the mystery and wonder with the feeling of cold night; there was the poetry and the life of it.
by Anne Fielding
The biggest mistake, Aesthetic Realism taught me, is for a woman to give way to her desire to be scornful and superior, to have contempt—for her husband and the world. This takes many everyday forms, all debilitating, all ruinous. And it’s amazing that every one of these forms has its likeness to mistakes in acting.
report by Carol McCluer of a lecture Eli Siegel gave June 10, 1973
This is thrilling, hopeful, inspiring education about something Aesthetic Realism explains for the first time: that the art of acting is an expression of the deepest desire of every person—to like the world.
from a report by Carol McCluer of a lecture Eli Siegel gave November 8, 1970
Eli Siegel discussed an essay largely forgotten today by the American novelist and essayist, Richard Henry Dana, about the great 18th century English actor Edmund Kean. He called it “perhaps the most important single theatrical criticism in the 1820s in America,” and “the most valuable description of acting perhaps in the world.”
by Carrie Wilson
The autobiography of the important opera singer, Mary Garden’s Story, Mr. Siegel recommended because, he said, her life brings up “the matter of what to leave out and what to include. Mary Garden said she didn’t want to marry. She felt that something interesting her might take her away from something else.” This is a question had by many women, and Aesthetic Realism answers it magnificently.
by Anne Fielding
from Aesthetic Realism: We Have Been There, Six Artists on the Siegel Theory of Opposites (Definition Press, New York, 1969)
Anne Fielding taught acting based on Aesthetic Realism at HB Studio, and teaches the acting class at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City. She says, “In this essay is just some of what I learned about the urgent, needed comprehension of the art of acting and the human self.”
by Carol McCluer
Eli Siegel is the critic who understood Ophelia truly, and he showed, looking at the text with scrupulous and loving exactitude, that the Danish girl is not a passive victim.
by Bennett Cooperman
When a person expresses himself truly, I learned, he puts together inside and outside—what is deep within him comes out and joins with what Mr. Siegel calls a “‘friendly outside.”
by Ann Richards and Carol McCluer
“What should I be passionate about, if anything?” “Am I too cold, do I have enough feeling?” and “Why do I feel I’m all over the place, and don’t have control of my emotions?” are questions that torment women and men all over the world.
by Carrie Wilson
The “courageous and just relation of [Rachel’s] self” with the classic heroines in the dramas of Corneille and Racine, has given her immortal individuality. Meanwhile, another, false idea of individuality weakened her, as it does women today.