a closet music fundamentalist

sisse nar

Senior Member
Korean
Hi, everyone.

The following is a text from "The Phantom" by Jo Nesbo.

I don't get the last sentence. What is "closet music fundamentalist"? So does Harry like stadium concert music such as U2, Broce Springsteen or not?

Valle Hovin Stadium. A little oasis of concrete in the middle of a desert of green lawns, birch trees, gardens and flowerboxes on verandas. In the winter the track was used as a skating rink, in the summer as a concert venue, by and large for dinosaurs like the Rolling Stones, Prince and Bruce Springsteen. Rakel had even persuaded Harry to go along with her to see U2, although he had always been a club man and hated stadium concerts. Afterwards she had teased Harry that in his heart of hearts he was a closet music fundamentalist.
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    When "closet" is used as an adjective, it means "secret" or "hidden".

    She teased Harry saying that he was secretly a music fundamentalist. A "fundamentalist" here is someone holding very strict and rigid ideas about something.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    closet (adj.) = secret (adj.); especially when relating to something that you are/should be ashamed of.
    fundamentalist = a person who accepts only the original idea/philosophy/system and rejects change and development as a bad thing.
    music fundamentalist = someone who accepts only an early style of music that he believes is the only "real" music.
     

    ChemaSaltasebes

    Senior Member
    Castellano (España)
    I read it as closet-music fundamentalist. Harry enjoys small, club concerts, and hates big concerts; Rakel teases Harry through exaggeration, describing him as a fundamentalist, as a radical lover / follower of closet-music; a fundamentalist when it comes to his liking of small hidden concerts of unknown artists, which makes him dislike/disregard big artists and big concerts.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I read it as closet-music fundamentalist. Harry enjoys small, club concerts, and hates big concerts;
    :D OED: "closet: d. to come out of the closet: to admit (something) openly, to cease to conceal, esp. one's homosexuality. Opp. to be in the closet. Cf. sense 10 below. slang.
    1963 S. Plath in London Mag. Jan. 16 Come here, sweetie, out of the closet."
     

    ChemaSaltasebes

    Senior Member
    Castellano (España)
    :D OED: "closet: d. to come out of the closet: to admit (something) openly, to cease to conceal, esp. one's homosexuality. Opp. to be in the closet. Cf. sense 10 below. slang.
    1963 S. Plath in London Mag. Jan. 16 Come here, sweetie, out of the closet."
    Are you suggesting that closet-music could be read as slang for non-disclosed homosexual music!!?? :)!!
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    No. I am suggesting that your interpretation in #4 was wrong and that the interpretations in #2 and #3 are correct.
     

    ChemaSaltasebes

    Senior Member
    Castellano (España)
    Oh, ok. Sorry for the misunderstanding and thanks a lot for the correction. Could you explain why is it so? How could/should I figure out the difference between closet music-x versus closet-music x? How would you guys express secret-music fundamentalist versus the correct reading of the OP's secret music-fundamentalist? Thanks a lot in advance!
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    {secret-music} fundamentalist -> a fundamentalist who likes music that is secret -> This concept does not exist in English and therefore this cannot be the meaning.
    secret {music fundamentalist)? -> a person whose preferences in music are fundamentalist but who keeps those preferences hidden/secret.
     

    ChemaSaltasebes

    Senior Member
    Castellano (España)
    Ok. I see. Thanks again!
    Just as a curiosity, there is an entry for "closet music" (Urban Dictionary) as the music you love but hide for fear of being ridiculed. It is definitely not what I first read, but might it fit as a humorous reference in the OP's sentence?
    And would you just rely on context to disambiguate or is there any useful rule of thumb to differentiate two possible valid interpretations -when those do actually exist? (I am not intending to push further the particular case but I am asking about the general structure, [A] [B-fundamentalist] versus [A-B] [fundamentalist]).
    Thank you very much for all your kind explanations!!
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    And would you just rely on context to disambiguate
    Yes.
    or is there any useful rule of thumb to differentiate two possible valid interpretations -when those do actually exist?
    Not really; context is necessary. For example, if I said "Chema is a Spanish grammar scholar", it could either mean that Chema is of Spanish nationality and is also a scholar in the field of the grammar of languages generally, or that Chema (whose nationality we do not identify) is a scholar about Spanish grammar, but may not know anything about the grammar of other languages. We would only know which meaning to choose through context.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Just as a curiosity, there is an entry for "closet music".

    Things like that are frequently called "guilty pleasures". They are things you enjoy but don't want to tell anyone else about because you think they would think less of you for liking it. Guilty has the same function as closet here, it indicates the secretness.
     

    ChemaSaltasebes

    Senior Member
    Castellano (España)
    Not really; context is necessary. For example, if I said "Chema is a Spanish grammar scholar", it could either mean (...)
    Very funny. And perfectly clear. Thank you, GreenWhiteBlue!

    Things like that are frequently called "guilty pleasures".
    Would it make some sense then to call someone "a closet-music fundamentalist" with that sense ("closet music" as a particular "guilty pleasure") or is it just such an uncommon expression that it would not make sense to use it -as in the OP's- with that meaning and expect to be adequately understood?
    Thanks again for all your patience -and humour! :)
     
    Last edited:

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Just as a curiosity, there is an entry for "closet music".

    Things like that are frequently called "guilty pleasures". They are things you enjoy but don't want to tell anyone else about because you think they would think less of you for liking it. Guilty has the same function as closet here, it indicates the secretness.
    Like confessing you like Abba, for example, which in my case (if it were true) would be inexcusable given that Led Zeppelin are my favourite band of all time.:D
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Just as a curiosity, there is an entry for "closet music" (Urban Dictionary)
    Thirty votes in 11 years. There are other of mentions, but rather than a set phrase it seems to be two words put together with the meaning of "closet" as "shamefully hidden", "embarrassing and thus a secret" and thus "guilty pleasure."
    Would it make some sense then to call someone "a closet-music fundamentalist" with that sense ("closet music" as a particular "guilty pleasure":thumbsup:)
    No.

    You have hyphenated "Closet-music" and I am not sure why you have done that. That would mean "music in a closet". It is all the more difficult to understand the hyphen when the Urban dictionary does not add a hyphen.

    If you wish to indicate that two or more words are to be taken as one idea, use {}. :thumbsup:

    Also, you need to understand the grammatical structure that is not at all clear. "Closet" is a reference to a human attribute - it cannot be given directly to an object (e.g. music.)

    Closet music -> Music that a person listens to for guilty pleasure.

    Music cannot be described as "closet". "This music is closet." :cross:

    Descriptors of music go to style, tone, speed, etc. Pop music; country music, classical music
     

    sisse nar

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I have a question that is not yet solved.
    According to the definition of "closet music", Harry does secretly like the stadium concert music, doesn't he? I guess people are usually proud of their maniac taste rather than popular music which everyone love.
     

    ChemaSaltasebes

    Senior Member
    Castellano (España)
    You have hyphenated "Closet-music" and I am not sure why you have done that.
    Sorry; I just meant {...}
    And perfectly understood. Thanks again PaulQ!!
    According to the definition of "closet music", Harry does secretly like the stadium concert music, doesn't he?
    I am sorry for having added confusion here; as already explained, {closet music} should not be taken as a valid interpretation in this case, but you should read the original as "closet {music fundamentalist}". Recheck #2 and #3 for meaning.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top