Aesthetic Realism Explains Rock and Roll and Our Lives

Keywords: Rock and roll; Aesthetic Realism; Eli Siegel; opposites; Ellen Reiss; Jackie Wilson; The Beatles; Twenty One Pilots, The Marvelettes; The Script; Chuck Berry.


This is an inquiry into what rock and roll
as art can say to us about our very lives.
It is based on the following principle
of Aesthetic Realism, the philosophy founded
by American poet Eli Siegel: “All beauty
is a making one of opposites, and the making
one of opposites is what we are going after
in ourselves.” Six well-known rock and roll
recordings are looked at for how they make
a one of opposites — principally, inner feeling
and outward expression, also wildness
and precision, continuity and discontinuity,
pleasure and pain; and how the seeing
of these aesthetic opposites as one in the music
of rock and roll can inform us about how we,
as human beings, want to be in our everyday
lives in order to be happy and truly expressed.

Cross-Cultural Communications