If it is true that values are transitory and provisional, then history provides only a record and not a guide, the dichotomy between Truth and Existence is severe, and Reason and Spirit must relinquish their exalted positions to a crude pragmatic mean and despair. In this excellently analytical book, subtitled Essays in Modern German Literature and Thought, Mr. Heller discusses how the German literary giants came to terms with the problem of introducing an absolute axiology in a metaphysically ephemeral and conditional universe. In the first essay ""Goethe and the Idea of Scientific Truth"", he derives Goethe's peculiar synthesis of empirical truth and Aristotelian entelechy, later comparing him to Nietzeche...and Nietzche to Nilke and Burckhardt. He shows the complete reversal of German idealism as embodied in Kafka and, in the essay on Karl Kraus, illustrates the reaction of minds existing in a spiritual vacuum. A stimulating, high-level analysis for .