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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Alex Beam

The Mozart problem

My friend David and I were mingling with the grad student flotsam at the Harvard Square Starbucks, when who should heave into view but University of Massachusetts Shakespeare scholar John Tobin. What a coincidence, I marveled to Tobin; we are on our way to hear Harvard Shakespeare prodigy Stephen Greenblatt deliver the homily at the daily morning prayers service.

“Greenblatt!” Tobin exclaimed, good naturedly pulling back the curtain on his inner Iago. “He’s too good. As a competitor, I want to find his weaknesses, but there aren’t any. It’s really irritating.”

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