Miriam Weiss   Writer & Aesthetic Realism Associate
Sophia Peabody HawthorneAlice JamesGeorge SeuratLydia Maria ChildArnold BennettAnthony TrollopeDorothy ParkerPierre August RenoirEdgar Degas

Seminar Papers

Here are papers I have presented at public seminars that take place at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York.  These seminars are a great pleasure to take part in. My papers address the questions of women and of people in general about such subjects as: Why can we feel so unsure?, Why do we have pain in love?, What stops us from being able to communicate?, Why can we be bored and listless?, Are we troubled by how competitive we can be?, Do we feel too cold? In all of my papers you will see what I learned beginning in Aesthetic Realism consultations and in classes taught by Eli Siegel and Ellen Reiss.

A theme that runs through each of my papers is: What weakens mind? This is an age-old question and as television ads about anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness show it is ever so current.  Our minds, our selves, Aesthetic Realism explains, are ethical and aesthetic. There is nothing more dignifying than that. Eli Siegel has identified what weakens mind. It is contempt: the “disposition in every person to think he will be for himself by making less of the outside world.” I know of nothing more important for people to know.

What Should A Woman Be Passionate About?
--inlcudes a consideration of the life of 19th century American abolitionist & writer Lydia Maria Child

Mistakes Men and Women Make About Coldness and Warmth
--inlcudes discussions of the Dorothy Parker short story "A Telephone Call" and Seurat's "La Grande Jatte"

What's Wrong with Competition?; or, Is Anything More Important Than Being Superior?
--inlcudes discussions of characters in Trollope's Framely Parsonage and of Degas' "Entrance of the Masked Dancers"

Despite Cell Phones and Email, Why Can't People Really Communicate?
--inlcudes a critical discussion of the 2003 film Lost In Translation

Strength and Weakness: What Do We Enourage In Ourselves and Others?
--includes some consideration of the life of Alice James

What's More Important: To Appreciate Rightly or Be Praised?
--includes discussions of Arnold Bennett's short story "The Ninteenth Hat" and Degas' "The Millinery Shop"

Can We Have True Confidence Without Honest Self-Doubt?
--includes a discussion of "social anxiety" with a comment on Renoir's pastel "The Boaters"

Security and Adventure; or, The Danger in Playing It Safe
--includes a discussion of the life of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne

The Debate In Everyone: Should I Feel More or Less?
--includes a consideration of the life of American author and educator, Kate Douglas Wiggin

Everyone's Biggest Confusion: How Should We See Other People?
--includes a discussion of how we can learn from art to see people fairly