Friends of Aesthetic Realism
       Countering the Lies
“It’s a lie, and not a well told one at that.
  It grins out like a copper dollar.”

                  —Abraham Lincoln

Statement by Marvin Mondlin, Bookman, Author of Appraisals, A Guide for Bookmen (1997) & Coauthor with Roy Meador of Book Row, An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade (2004), Former student of Aesthetic Realism with its founder, Eli Siegel (from 1945 to 1968), currently a student of anthropology with Dr. Arnold Perey.

Having read eighteen true, careful, honest statements concerning the ugly lies by Adam Mali, Michael Bluejay and other liars of the same ilk, I would like to say something from my own lifetime experience concerning something of the cruel nonsense and idiotic falsities propagated by these liars on the Internet, and also what I think motivates these liars.

First of all, there is the ridiculous assertion that Aesthetic Realism is a “cult.” I am not nor ever have been a “cultist.” My background—before having met Eli Siegel in 1945—is in the sciences. As a young man who studied natural history and organic chemistry and who was one of the winners of the Westinghouse Science Talent Search awards in the winter/spring of 1945 for experiments I did on rooting hormones in 1944, and later, with the encouragement of Eli Siegel and the Aesthetic Realism principles he taught me, a student of book lore and bibliography (see entries about me in Marquis Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in the East, and Who’s Who in Finance and Industry).

In the past twenty five years as Senior Executive Vice President of Strand Book Store numerous articles have appeared about me in the press, both here and abroad. I have appeared on various television shows, have lectured on matters related to books and am considered by many of my colleagues to be one of the most knowledgeable bookmen in America. All this began with what I learned from Eli Siegel, the greatest bookman I ever knew, the grand poet and superb philosopher whose own works, published and unpublished, have been the foundation of my own knowledge. I learned more from him than I did from Cornell University, Brooklyn College and CCNY, all of which I attended, with his very great encouragement over all the years that I knew him. So much for my “cultism.” So much for the stupid lying of Mali, Bluejay and the other liars.

In 1967 I made a statement published in Definition 5: A Journal of Events and Aesthetic Realism asserting, among other things that “I still believe after sixteen years of looking, trying to find flaws, shopping around, and despite my tendency to think nothing could be this meaningful, that Aesthetic Realism is the only adequate description and critique of reality, the only entire alternative to hidden ego-monopoly and non-caringness.”  I also wrote in that statement: “I believe that Eli Siegel has laid the basis for the next large step of mankind, the step from the present careless, intermittent awareness of self, with its consequent shuttling between boredom and anguish, loneliness and cruelty, to looking upon one’s feelings as objects and respecting the feelings of others as realities, like chairs, automobiles, clothes. This is so large a thing, I believe it represents the same sort of step man took when he came to see the world itself as knowable generally and with exactness through the sciences. Aesthetic Realism is the step from the current fumbling possibility of civilization to its actual accomplishment. It is the only thorough basis I know of for the study of feelings—both knowing them truly, and showing them as they deserve to be shown.” This, I am happy to say, is still true about what I earnestly feel and know.

Something About the Liars. I regret to say that one of the liars is a relative of mine. I refer here to “Michael Bluejay.” He has broadened his website to appeal to all those who seek revenge on Mr. Siegel, Ellen Reiss Chairman of Education of Aesthetic Realism, Editor of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, a person I personally know to be of unimpeachable integrity and kindness), and all students of Aesthetic Realism.

It is my conviction that what is true, what is beautiful, what is ethical, what is kind will prevail.

I believe that my self-esteem, my caring for Eli Siegel, Aesthetic Realism and its teachers and students are honest things, worth knowing and respecting.


  • Read statements by many individual men and women
  • Reviews from the NY Times Book Review, Saturday Review, Library Journal, Harlem Times, Popular Photography, and more
  • The poetry by Eli Siegel, so greatly respected by William Carlos Williams and many others
  • Read lectures by Eli Siegel on subjects as diverse as literature, love, & economics
  • What is learned in classes taught by Ellen Reiss

  • A Little Anthology of Comments (Some Funny We Hope) on Further Misrepresentations.

    >> Continue

    "On the Pleasures and Advantages of Anonymity: An Ode"—
    >> Continue

    A Dramatic and Cautionary Tale about an Unknown and Very Unimportant Person

    There once was a young man of ancient Greece named Milos. And Milos knew Socrates. He did not like Socrates because the great man asked far too many questions.... >> Continue

    Statements by Friends of Aesthetic Realism

    Barbara Allen
    Frances Amello
    Jerry Amello
    Christopher Balchin
    Mara Bennici
    David Berger
    Alice Bernstein
    Rachel J. Bernstein
    Barbara Buehler
    Gina Buffone
    Beverly Sue Burk
    Maureen Butler
    Jeffrey Carduner
    Margot Carpenter
    Lori & Robert Colavito
    Albert Corvino
    Nicholas Corvino
    Henry D'Amico
    Matthew D’Amico
    Ernest DeFilippis
    Vincent DiPietro
    Carol Driscoll
    Donita Ellison
    Anne Fielding
    Lorraine Galkowski, RN
    Pamela Goren
    Edward Green
    Avi Gvili
    Ames Huntting
    Mark Lale
    Dale Laurin
    Rose Levy
    Timothy Lynch
    Lorraine Mahoney, RN
    Derek Mali
    Glenn Mariano
    Haroldo Mauro Jr.
    Joseph Meglino
    Pauline Meglino
    Allan Michael
    Marvin Mondlin
    Robert Murphy
    Michael J. Nadeau
    Meryl Nietsch-Cooperman
    Ruth Oron
    Arnold Perey, PhD
    Lauren Phillips
    Jack Plumstead
    Maria Plumstead
    Rosemary Plumstead
    Rev. Wayne Plumstead
    Marcia Rackow
    Zvia Ratz
    Ann Richards
    Anthony C. Romeo
    Leila Rosen
    Rhonda Rosenthal
    Sally Ross
    Claudia Senatore
    Sheldon Silverman
    Jeffrey Sosinsky, MD
    Barbara Spetly McClung
    Joseph Spetly
    Faith K. Stern
    John Stern
    Arlene Sulkis
    Devorah Tarrow
    Jaime R. Torres, DPM
    Dennis L. Tucker
    Francine Weber
    Steve Weiner
    Miriam Weiss
    Carrie Wilson

    Also see the Aesthetic Realism Online Library  the Aesthetic Realism Foundation  Terrain Gallery  What scholars, writers, artists & teachers are saying  the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company  & Links

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