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I knew Bartok

I used to be a professional musician, playing in a string quartet in the 1960s’, says Richard Sennett smiling. ‘And there was this one woman in particular who came to see us perform all six of the Bartok Quartets in Chicago over the course of a single weekend. Playing all six is very hard to do, and, at the end, I was longing for a drink and a cigarette. And the woman came up to me and said, “How beautiful that was. You know, I knew Bartok.” And I thought, goodness, this can’t be true. And then she said, “Yes, my name’s Hannah Arendt”, and, after sort of fainting on the floor, we took her out for a drink.

Richard Sennett.