Gottfried’s LorenPaul Gottfried: ConservativenMillenarians: The RomanticnExperience in Bavaria; FordhamnUniversity Press; New Yorlc.nby Thomas MolnarnThis is a slender volume, butnfact-filled, thus demanding.nGottfried tackles a relatively rarentopic, conservative utopianism,nand puts it in the rich frameworknof history, politics, literature andnreligion. Assisted by an impressivenscholarly apparatus, henshows that a large number ofnGerman intellectuals during then18th and 19th centuries werenfighting battles on two relatednfronts: against the desiccatingnideology of the Enlightenmentnand its political-cultural manifestations,nand/or the restoration,nalso political-cultural, of Catholicnteaching. There was also anthird front, and, appropriately,nthe author devotes a great dealnof attention to it: the one mannednby the “romantic mystics” fornwhom Catholic restoration wasnonly a steppingstone towards thentheocratic state and the “spiritualizationnof the material world.”nThe quotation is from Eckartshausen,nbut it could have beennfrom J. Bohme or even Teilhard.nGottfried’s topic and limitednspace forbid him to dwell onnthese men—whom I prefer toncall “false mystics”—but he doesnuncover the contributions to thenmillennial vision of the Germannidealists Kant, Fichte, Schellingnand others. When we remembernyoung Hegel’s jubilant cry onnfirst reading Meister Eckhart,nDr. Molnar is a frequent contributornto these pages.nCommendablesn34inChronicles of Culturen”Here is our ancestor of all ofnus!” we realize what an uninterruptednline runs through Germannspeculation, from the medievalnmystics of the Rhinelandnto the period studied by Gottfried—andnbeyond. The contemporarynemphasis, which is as oldnas the millennial temptation itself,nis well perceived by thisnthorough scholar as he dwellsnon the romantics’ main theme:nadherence to the Roman Churchnis justified until the true churchnarises in the final age.nGottfried’s topic is so abundant,nand he manages to compressnit so well, that enoughnspace remains for the play ofnpolitical influences at the courtnof Bavaria and at such places asnuniversities and editorial offices.nHowever, the compactness henachieves may actually distractnthe reader who is not familiarnwith at least a few of the trendsnhe discusses. But this is only becausenwe are accustomed tonbulky volumes with thin content;nin this slim volume there isnknowledge for an interdisciplinarynfaculty. nnSmith’snDifferencenKay Nolte Smith: The Watcher;nCoward, McCann & Geoghegan;nNew York.nThe sudden and grotesquendeath of Martin Granger, foundernand director of the Institutenfor the Study of Cultural andnEthical Values, is followed by annanonymous phone call to the police,nand what had appeared to bena freak accident begins to looknmore like murder. The suspect, anpretty reporter masquerading asnGranger’s secretary, seems determinednto be arrested for hisnmurder. The detective assignednto the case turns out to be thensuspect’s ex-boyfriend; she hadnleft him several years earlier becausenhis disillusionment with ancorrupt judge had convinced himnto abandon his law career. Beingnfirmly committed to commitment,nshe could not bear to seenone she loved turn from whatnseemed to be his destiny. Now,nunder Granger’s influence, severalnof his proteges (includingnher husband) seemed to be doingnthe same thing, and she decidednto infiltrate Granger’s office tonfind out why.nThe investigation progressesnwith the usual sprinkling ofnclues and unexpected developments,nculminating in a tumultuous.nPerry Mason-style trial.nIt’s an interesting mystery, andncertainly captivated this reader,nespecially toward the end.nBut the bookstores are full ofngood mysteries —what makesnThe Watcher different; whyntrouble to review yet another.’nBecause Ms. Smith, in her firstnnovel, has rejected the standardnliberal dogma. Her hero is a NewnYork City policeman —whennwas the last time a policemannwas portrayed as a human beingnrather than a brutal automaton.’nThe villain is an East Coast intellectualnwho proclaims his passionatenconcern for humanitynwhile wearing custom-made Tshirts.nMs. Smith has projectednfanatic egalitarianism to its logical,nif horrifying, extreme; evenna card-carrying liberal might beginnto doubt the wisdom of hisnways after reading The Watcher.n(BK) •nTales from a Communist RealitynMircea Eliade: The Old Mannand the Bureaucrats; translatednby Mary Park Stevenson; NotrenDame University Press; NotrenDame, Indiana and London.nRaised on Romanian folklore,non the mythology of villagensongs, Mircea Eliade has spunnmany a fantastic tale; unencumberednby formality, they speak fornlonging and hope mixed withnresignation—which is not to sayndespair. Eliade is a master storyteller,ncaptivating and gentle,nhis language flowing in its Romancenrhythms to weave a literarynlandscape delicate as gossamer,nthat would be easily tornnby a mere skeptical frown were itnnot for an implicit defiance ofnskepticism itself.nSet in modern-day Romania,nThe Old Man and the Bureaucratsnis about skeptical bureaucratsnlistening to an elderlynschool principal reminisce. Thenprivacy of the prison, they hope.nnnwill protect the forbiddennthreads of his curious tales. Thenold man apparently is not awarenthat he is breaking the Partynrules by succumbing to irrationalnbeliefs about events that defynrealistic, “logical” description.nEliade’s novella hints at an explanationnof the phenomenon,nbut no more than hints at it. Thenmystery, by its very nature, willnnot allow being explained away.nThis small book, like his epicntome The forbidden forest andnthe scores of short stories Eliadenhas penned through the years, isnless intent on resolving a plotnthan it is on exploring the elementsnof a process—the dynamicsnof imagination at work, thenblend of symbol and accident, theninteraction of petty, even abjectnmen with those who are magnificentnand larger than life, the antithesisnof fable and fact. Eliade’snmaterial is irrevocably romantic,nyet dressed in a naturalism hisnstyle inherits from the Romaniann