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Not Entirely Nice

Jerry Fodor, 2 November 2000

Puccini: His International Art 
by Michele Girardi, translated by Laura Basini.
Chicago, 530 pp., £41, September 2000, 0 226 29757 8
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... I have a friend who has a friend who is a composer of international stature, heavily invested in the aesthetics of difficulty. He’s also opera-addicted and likes to get to the Met whenever he comes through town. My friend remembers a phone call from his friend that went about like this: ‘Listen, they’re doing Bohème tonight. Let’s go; but please don’t tell anybody ...

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