sence of the noble and the great.rnThis may pass as a fair sample of “late”rnthought in the volume at hand, and ifrnthe view here is grim, it is also a truernone. Many times. Bellow returns tornNietzsche’s hideous eharaeterization ofrnthe inseetile Last Man, to Ycats’s “ThernSecond Coming” (“The best lack allrnconviction, while the worst / Are full ofrnpassionate intensity”), to WyndhamrnLewis’s pitiless indictment of modernity’srn”moronic inferno,” accusing himselfrnof having been “distracted by the subjectrnof distraction,” and sometimes brushingrnagainst genuine profundities and knockingrnthem over. Again, from the most recentrnof this book’s ruminations: “In nornuncertain terms, Nietzsche tells us thatrnthe modern age concerns itself primarilyrnwith Becoming and ignores Being.rnAnd so perpetual Becoming preys on usrnlike a deadly sickness.”rnPerhaps the pursuit of Being is incompatiblernwith the habit of holdingrnforth? And perhaps Bellow has fleetinglyrnglimpsed this? “On the other hand,rnsilence is enriching. The more you keeprnyour mouth shut, the more fertile yournbecome.”rnThat this keeping your mouth shutrnwas an ancient spiritual practice, “cchcmvthia,”rnor Pythagorean silence, a fiveyearrnprohibition on the use of languagernintended to put the practitioner in contactrnwith the life of the soul, as serious arnmatter for ancient Greeks as for ancientrnHebrews, may not have occurred tornBellow, since Augie’s one reference tornPythagoras—that he was killed over arndiagram—does not appear to be the remarkrnof an expert. But it could hardlyrnhave been unfamiliar to Nietzsche, thernavowed enemy of Enlightenment Man’srn”I think, therefore I am” way of definingrnBeing. Nietzsche’s Last Man resemblesrna race of sand fleas hopping over itsrnshrunken polluted world principally becausernthe Last Man cannot sacrifice hisrnbeloved notion of The Self to save hisrnsoul. It is easier for the Last Man to declarernthat God is dead than that Marxrnand Freud were phonies. Just becausernBellow knows enough to loathe the LastrnMan doesn’t mean he isn’t one.rnThis dilemma, which Bellow sharesrnwith practically everybody, shows itsrnabysmal depths most dramatically in hisrnbicentenary tribute to Mozart, a geniusrnBellow obviously loves. In spite of hisrnown “hunch that with beings such asrnMozart we are forced to speculate aboutrntranscendence,” he still comes outrnwrong: “When wc say he is modern Irnsuppose we mean we recognize the signaturernof Enlightenment, of reason andrnuniversalism, in his music—wc recognizernalso the limitations of Enlightenment.”rn”We” in this ease is a room fullrnof Italian intellectuals, which is to savrncommunists; an audience of a qualityrnMozart for all his putative modernityrncould never have imagined, an audiencerninterested in the Don as an allegory forrnthe capitalist class, in Figaro as ThernWorker, addressed by a novelist sincerelyrntrying to stand up for lost dimensionsrnof human nature—”the noble,” “therngreat,” as Mozart himself effortlessly embodiedrnthem—and walking a fine linernbetween intellectual respectability andrnthe absurdly simple truth.rn. /•’•rn/rn/rn/ /rn//rnrn,3,rnMozart is neither “modern” nor onernin whom “we recognize the signature ofrnEnlightenment,” by which the audiencernis expected to understand a historicalrntradition that begins yith Descartes,rnpasses through Trotsky, and ends withrnthe computer revolution. But if therernwere indeed—and there is, of course—rnsuch a signature in Mozart’s music, itrnderives from those traditions of the soulrnwhence the secularists filched this marvelousrnyvord “enlightenment” in the firstrnplace: Orpheus, Pythagoras, Plato, St.rnAugustine, Dante, the Christendomcum-rnClassicism of the Renaissance thatrnreinvented music around the theory ofrnthe numbers of the soul. Mozart wasrnboth devout and classically republican.rnHis last work is actually, not metaphorically,rntranscendent.rnOut of the Descartes-cum-Trotsky traditionrncame the Last Man, the StockrnExchange, MTV; also liberation theology,rndeath camps, and tens of millions ofrncorpses. If this tradition left its signaturernon anyone’s music, it is that of Schoenberg.rnIt is time to stop congratulatingrnourselves on our deepest and deadliestrnconfusions.rnPeter Laurie is a poet and scholar livingrnin upstate New York.rnBrief MentionsrnThe Rape of Europa: The Fate ofrnEurope’s Treasures in the Third Reichrnand the Second World War. By LynnrnU. Nicholas (New York: Alfred A.Knopf),rn498 pp., $27.50rnLynn Nicholas has written the mostrncomprehensive account of the Nazis’ attemptrnto steal, sell, dismantle, and destroyrnEurope’s artistic heritage, but herrnstunning illustrations nearly tell the storyrnfor her: a picture of 5000 bells thatrnwere stolen from across Europe andrnstockpiled in Hamburg; a photo of thernspecial room for “degenerate” art thatrnAlfred Rosenberg and Hermann Goeringrnestablished at the Jen de Paume, wherernVcrmeers, Rembrandts, Cezannes, andrnRenoirs are stacked like Velvet Elvises atrnthe corner gas station; an eery sketch ofrncandle-lit life in the deep cellars of thernHermitage, where relies and masterpiecesrnare protected by half-frozen curators,rnart historians, poets, and writers.rnThis is a story of preservation as much asrnpillage, perseverance as much as villainy.rn’I’he Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venusrnde Milo, and thousands of paintings,rnsculptures, tapestries, clocks, andrnstained-glass windows were hurried outrnof Paris by truck and train shortly beforernthe Germans arrived and hidden in 11rnchateaux west of the capital. The NationalrnGallery’s collection was relocatedrnto Wales by underground rail throughrndisused eaves and mines. In our country,rnthe newly opened National Gallery ofrnArt transferred its most importantrnworks to the palatial Biltmore estate inrnAshevillc, North Carolina; the MetropolitanrnMuseum used an empty mansionrnoutside of Philadelphia; and “ThernDeclaration of Independence” spent thernwar in Fort Knox. Nicholas does discussrnAllied thefts—such as the infamous easernof WAG officer Katherine Nash, whornstole instead of guarded the Hesse crownrnjewels at Kronberg Castle in April 1945rnand who was arrested with her husbandrnin Chicago shortly thereafter—but sherndoes so only briefly and dares not treadrnon the eristic issue of the Allies’ intentionalrnbombing of Germany’s medievalrntown squares. (For a tendentious butrnmore thorough account of Americanrnlooting, see the recently published ThernSpoils of World War IL. The AmericanrnMilitary’s Role in Stealing Europe’s Treasuresrnby Kenneth D. Alford.) After thernFEBRUARY 1995/37rnrnrn