I received a lovely note from a friend of a friend, a well-regarded writer in another field. He read my book and subsequently developed what he calls a "full-blown obsession" with Messiaen, whom he'd never listened to before. The obsession grew to the point where he did something unprecedented and extreme: he bought tickets to an orchestra concert. Namely, the St. Louis Symphony's Turangalîla evening, which I praised below. He writes: "I'm not even going to try to describe the effect it had on me, other than to say there are a few cultural encounters that have marked me forever — understanding Cézanne for the first time, my Merce Cunningham epiphany, my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth viewings of Hou Hsiao-hsien's Flowers of Shanghai — and the Turangalîla now joins their company." This is obviously my cue to see Flowers of Shanghai!