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Orhan Pamuk: The Museum of Innocence

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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The Museum of Innocence was written from 2001-2002 and 2003-2008 (Pamuk, p 532). This is a book that truly changed my life, and I say that not in a mundane, philosophical manner. Orhan Pamuk's The Museum of Innocence truly changed my life. I am going to see every single one of the museums mentioned in the book, so long as they are still open to the public. Furthermore, I anticipate walking along the streets of Istanbul in a few weeks and taking photographs of the locations mentioned in the book. I love straddling the blurry line of reality and fiction, and of sanity and insanity, with the outcome being of incalculable beauty.

The photograph was framed in black, by which formerly happy images appropriated for death notices assumed the cast of mourning, and the most frivolous images could attain in death the somber dignity usually reserved for victims of political assassination. (Pamuk, p 83)

When the state banned the import of new foreign cars ten years ago [in 1965], it turned Istanbul into a museum for old American cars, but what does it matter; we've ended up without the best repair shops in the world. (Pamuk, p 89)

She refused my every attempt to see her, even to speak with her; she wouldn't answer the phone. She even sold the house I'd bought for her and moved somewhere I could't find her. … To imagine her living in another part of Istanbul, opening the papers to read the same news, watching the same TV programs, yet never to see her -- it left me desolate. … In the end, curiosity got the better of me, and one afternoon I rang her mother. … Her mother said, "My daughter is dead," and began to cry. She'd died of cancer! I hung up at once so that I wouldn't cry, too. … How terrifying life can be, how empty it all is! … It's not just that I lost her; it's also that I know I didn't treat her as she deserved -- that's why I still suffer. My son, you must know how important to is to treat women well -- but now, not later, not when it's too late. (Pamuk, p 92)

Our love of cigarettes owes nothing to the nicotine, and everything to their ability to fill the meaningless void and offer an easy way of feeling as if we are doing something purposeful. (Pamuk, p 98)

We would go as a family to eat that amazing thing called a hamburger, a delicacy as yet offered by no other restaurant in Turkey (Pamuk, p 103)

On p 104 was the first mention of the Pamuk family, followed by:

Sitting with his beautiful mother, his father, his elder brother, his uncle, and his cousins was the chain-smoking twenty-three-year-old Orhan, nothing special about him beyond his propensity to act nervous and impatient, affecting a mocking smile. (Pamuk, p 116-117)

There is a mention on p 145 of the Technical University in Taskisla. I'd love to take photographs of the nuances so gingerly described.

With my self-confidence undermined, I succumbed to jealousy.

One evening at the newly opened Mehtap, where bodyguards milled about the entrance, I was standing alone at the bar next to the pier extending over the Bosphorus drinking Gazel red wine. (Pamuk, p 158)

The street that was still called Emlak Avenue, though not Abdi Ipekci Avenue or Celal Salik Street, its official names in later years (though Nisantasi residents would continue to call it "the street where the police station is"). (Pamuk, p 164)

While playing tennis with Zaim at the Tennis, Fencing and Mountaineering Club, I spotted her among three giggling young girls, drinking Meltem at one of the table; my greater surprise was not at seeing her, but at her having been admitted to this club. (Pamuk, p 166)

Most surprising and unsettling, [there she was] gazing down at the street from the window of a third-floor apartment in Gumissuyu. ... When she saw me in the street looking up at her, Füsun's ghost stared back at me. When I waved, she waved back. But her manner of waving sufficed to tell me that she wasn't Füsun, so I walked off in Shane. (Pamuk, p 166-167)

Forty-five years after Ataturk's revolution and the founding of the Republic, the Turkish people had still not worked out how to go to the beach in bathing suits without embarassment, and at times like this, it would occur to me how much Füsun's fragility reflected the bashfulness of the Turkish people. (Pamuk, p 167

"I'm patient and I love you dearly. ... And don't worry, I don't have any wild theories about all this. We have plenty of time. ... For example, I'm not worried that you might be a homosexual or something," she said, smiling at once, to show that she wanted to reassure me, too. ... "I don't think it's a sexual illness or some deep childhood trauma, or anything like that. There's nothing wrong with that. In Europe and America, everyone goes to them." (Pamuk, p 173-174)

Sibel enjoyed these alcoholic trances we fell into, as they transported us from the everyday world. Outside in the streets of Istanbul, communists and nationalists were gunning each other down, robbing banks, throwing bombs, and spraying coffeehouses with bullets, but we had occasion, and license, to forget the entire world, all because of my mysterious ailment, which in Sibel's mind gave life a certain depth. (Pamuk, p 174-175)

When I was well and truly drunk I would begin to take a strange satisfaction from my anguish, taking a foolish pride in my predicament, telling myself that it was worthy of a novel, a film, even an opera. (Pamuk, p 182)

Sure enough, these things that Füsun had touched, these objects that had made her who she was -- as I caressed them, and gazed at them, and stroked them against my shoulders, my Nate chest, and my abdomen -- released their analgesic and soothed my soul. (Pamuk, p 185)

"How lovely your mother was, she was such an interesting woman," Nurcihan said. "She's still alive," I said, still lying like a corpse on the bed (Pamuk, p 188)

I did not envy him, because I sensed an overwhelming fear of beig deceived -- the ever-lurking possibility that things would come to a bad and degrading end -- and regret. (Pamuk, p 188)

At sunrise I went out to the balcony where my mother drank coffee and watched funerals, and I waved and shouted down to my friends below. (Pamuk, p 189)

The loose change went flying across the floor like broken glass. Tears were streaming from Sibel's eyes. (Pamuk, p 191)

Life is a series of repeated instances that we later assign -- without mercy -- to oblivion. (Pamuk, p 192)

She had acquired the confidence that comes of having to grow up quickly (Pamuk, p 232)

Age had not made him less handsome, as is so often the case; it had simply made him less visible. (Pamuk, p 235)

"Tweet tweet tweet," said her canary. (Pamuk, p 237)

The neighborhood of Cukurcuma was, as the name implied, a topographical bowl, and ... it had flooded many times in the past, and so I went with him to the bay window to watch the torrent pouring down the hill. Many of their neighbors were out there, with their trousers rolled up and barefoot, using zinc buckets and plastic washtubs to bail out the eater rushing over the curbs right into their houses, and arranging piles of stones and rags into makeshift levees. (Pamuk, p 239)

When the boy and his friends happened upon the girl played by Mujde Ar (who was just making her first films at the time) and raped her, mercilessly and at length, tearing off her clothes to give us a better view, the audience fell silent. (Pamuk, p P 261)

The crowd had fallen into a deathly silence, aghast at the shame of marrying and walking arm in arm with a woman who had been raped, her virginity stolen. (Pamuk, p 262)

Our arms brushed against each other that way, and remained intensely in contact as the fire of her skin ignited mine, and until my body reacted with an entirely unexpected elation. So transported was I by the dizzying sensation that for a time I paid no attention to arresting my body's impudence, and so when the lights came on, and the five-minute intermission began, I was obliged to hide my shame by draping my navy pullover over my lap. (Pamuk, p 267-268)

Just as I had done as a lycee student, whenever I needed to hide my body's importune excitement from my classmates, I raced through memories of my grandmother's death, the real and imaginary funeral rites of my childhood, the times when my father had scolded me, and then I imagined my own funeral, the gravely terrifying dark, my eyes filled with earth. Half a minute later I was ready to stand up without betraying myself. (Pamuk, p 268)

Because so many languages describe the condition I was in as "heartbreak," let the broken porcelain heart I display her suffice to convey my plight at that moment to all who visit my museum. (Pamuk, p 271)

Pamuk's symbolism was not always very subtle.

I remember asking the same question I would ask myself in my youth whenever I thought I would explode from boredom, surrendering to metaphysical music, as in: "What am I thinking now? Am I thinking that I'm thinking?" (Pamuk, p 272)

We went to the Club Cinema in Ferikoy, but instead of a film, there were beds with penniless boys tended by headscarf-wearing aunties, and it amused us when we realized that the city council had organized a circumcision ceremony, complete with acrobats, magicians, and dancers, for families who couldn't afford their own rite. But whnthe good-hearted mustached mayor saw how pleased we were and asked us to join them ... (Pamuk, p 275-276)

Oh, my! Circumcision, acrobats, magicians and dancers -- with an official, no less.

It was October 12, 1976, a bright, sunny say with a hint of summer's glare. The shop windows were brilliant color. As I ate my lunch at Haci Salih ... (Pamuk, p 278)

That is my birthday, though not my year. However, it is the year that Anderson was born.

Though Tarik Bey asked us to forget Time -- that line connecting one present moment to the next -- no one excerpt for idiots and amnesiacs can succeed in forgetting it altogether. (Pamuk, p 287)

In September 1980, four years after I began my visits to the Keskin household, there was another military coup; martial law was impose and with it ten o'clock curfews. These obliged me to leave the house at a quarter to ten, long before my heart had satisfied it's hunger. ... Even now, all these years later, whenever I read in the papers of the military's displeasure with the state of the nation, the evil of military coups I remember most vividly is that of rushing home denied my due ration of Füsun. (Pamuk, p 295)

The three scenes, motivated by commercial considerations, in which Füsun's character would appear nude (once making love, once pensively smoking a cigarette in a bubble bath, in the style of the French New Wave, and once wandering through a heavenly garden in a dream) were arty, insipid, and gratuitous! (Pamuk, p 302)

In his column in Millyet, the famous columnist Celal Salik had issued many stern warnings to the angry men who prowl our streets: "When you see a beautiful woman," he'd said, "please don't bite into her with your eyes as if intent on murder." And the though that Füsun might take my intense staring as proof that I was one of those Celal had addressed made me burn with further fury. (Pamuk, p 348)

It was in those days that I'd first indulged in childish dreams of going to Paris to are all the paintings. From the 1950s until the early 1960s, there was not a single museum in Istanbul in which you could see paintings; there wasn't even any art books or catalogs that one could leaf through for pleasure. So neither Füsun nor I knew much about painting. It was enough for us to enlarge black-and-white photographs of birds and other things and color them in. (Pamuk, p 354)

On occasion militants from both sides would engage in armed combat to take control of a street, a coffeehouse, or a little square; sometimes, following the explosion of a bomb planted by gangsters controlled from afar by the secret services or some other arm of the state, a fierce pitched battle would ensue. It took quite a toll on Ceten Efendi, who was often caught in the crossfire, and never sure where to park the Chevrolet or at which coffeehouse to wait, but whenever I suggested that I could go to the Keskins' alone, he adamantly refused. By the time I left the Keskins, the streets of Cukurcuma, Tophane, and Cihangir were never safe. Along the way as shadows tacked up posters, plastered notices, and scrawled slogans across walls, we'd exchange fearful looks in the mirror. (Pamuk, p 355-356)

At this rate, my collection would soon fill the rooms in the Merhamet Apartments from floor to ceiling. For I had not begun taking these things from the Keskin household with an eye to what the future migt hold, but only that I might be returned to the past. It did not occur to me that there might one day be objects enough to fill rooms and whole houses, because for the better part of those eight years I sustained myself with the conviction that it would only be a few more months, six a most, before I could bring Füsun around to marry me. (Pamuk, p 361)

If I say that the painting contained elements recalling Indian miniatures painted under British influence, and Chinese and Japanese bird paintings, with Audubon's attention to detail, and even the bird series that came packaged with a brand of chocolate biscuits sold in stores across Istanbul, please bear in mind that I was a man in love. (Pamuk, p 371)

We looked at the views of the city that served as backgrouds for Füsun's paintings of Istanbul birds, but far from lifting my heart, this exercise brought me sorrow. We loved our world very much, we belonge to it, and that meant we ourselves were part of the picture's innocence. (Pamuk, p 371)

To speak of "breaking off" a piece of someone is of course to imply that the piece is part of the eorshippeed beloved's body. But three years on, every object and person in that house in Cukurcuma -- her mother, her father, the dining table, the stove, the coal carrier, the china dogs on the television, the bottles of cologne, the cigarettes, the raki glasses, the sweets bowls -- had merged with my mental image of Füsun. I managed to see Füsun three or four times a week, and as happy as this made me, with each week I still took ("stole" would be the wrong word) from her house (from her life) three or four things, sometimes as many as six or seven, and during the most miserable phases, between ten and fifteen, and having got them to the Merhamet Apartments, I felt triumphant. (Pamuk, p 372)

I came to notice that in most of the world's homes there was a china dog sitting on top of the television set. Why is that millions of families all the over [sic] has felt the same need? (Pamuk, p 373)

On September 12, 1980 there was another military coup. By instinct I'd woken up before everyone else that morning; seeing that Tesvikiye Avenue and the streets leading off it were all empty, I knew at once what had happened: In those days, coups came every ten years. From time to time army trucks came down the avenue, filled with soldiers singing martial songs. I turned on the television at once, and after watching the images of flags and military parades and listening to the generals who had seized power, I went out onto the balcony. I liked seeing Tesvikiye Avenue so empty, and the city so silenced, so the rustling leaves of the chestnut trees in the mosque courtyard soothed me. Exactly five years earlier I had stood on this balcony with Sibel after our end-of-summer party, at exactly this hour in the morning, and admired the same view. (Pamuk, p 375)

Your eyes grow accustomed to things, so the moment they're gone, you notice. Whatever happened has happened; it doesn't matter to me -- maybe the poor beast [china dog] decided it was time to get uo and go," she said. She let out a sweet little laugh, but when she saw the harsh expression on my face, she became serious. "What shall we do?" she asked. ... "Let me take care of this," I said. (Pamuk, p 377)

Sometimes, just across Dalgic Street, we'd hear a domestic quarrel, and the screams as the husband beat the wife would upset us. ... Sometimes I'd try very hard not to reach over and touch Füsun. (Pamuk, p 402)

While my body lived out the present on the screen, my mind was watching Füsun and me from a slight distance, and my soul watched from an even greater one. So the effect of that moment I was living was of something I was remembering. Visitors to my Museum of Innocence must compel themseles, therefore, to view all objects displayed therein -- the buttons, the glasses, the old photographs, and Füsun's combs -- not as real things in the present moment, but as my memories. (Pamuk, p 421)

"Feridun doesn't take bird photographs anymore ... And so I've decide to paint from life instead. ... But I'm not aiming for realism. ... I'm not going to paint his cage. Lemon will be perched in front of the window like a wild bird who has alighted there of his own free will." ... He seemed happier and livelier outside his cage, and when we went to the back room, we were now more interested in the painting than the bird itself. (Pamuk, p 424-425)

Füsun's birthday was April 12, 1957 (Pamuk, p 424). Perhaps I, too, can buy a chocolate cake from Divan (Pamuk, p 425).

At a crossroads, where a crowd was gathering just in front if a muddy children's playground, she would cry, "What's going on? What are they selling?" and rush over, with me in tow, to a place where we would watch the gypsies and their dancing bear, the schoolchildren in their black smocks, rolling across the middle of the street ad they fought, and the sad eyes of two dogs locked in coitus while some cheered in derision and others looked on sheepishly. (Pamuk, p 429)

With her, I was able to discover all the awkwardness and pleasure of a stroll through Istanbul in the company of a beautiful woman whose head was uncovered. (Pamuk, p 430)

We could have had three children by now. But there would still be time for three children, or even more, once we'd married. I was so sure of this that when Füsun came out of the exam looking elated, and announcing, "I answered all the questions!" I was on the verge of informing her how many children we would had, but I held back, mindful of how, in the evenings, we were still sitting, quite solemnly, at the family table, watching television as we ate. (Pamuk, p 435)

My mother felt bad for any friends who'd been fleeced [by conniving bankers] -- Kadri the Sieve, whose beautiful daughter she had once hoped I would marry, Cuneyt Bey and Feyzan Hanim, Cevdet Bey and his family, the Pamuks (Pamuk, p 445)

Seeing she'd made no impression on me, my mother was incensed. "In a country where men and women can't be together socially, where they can't see each other or even have a conversation, there's no such thing as love," she vehemently declared. "By any chance do you know why? I'll tell you: because the moment men see a woman showing some interest, they don't even bother themselves with whether she's good or wicked, beautiful or ugly -- they just pounce onher like starving animals. This is simply their conditioning. And then they think they're in love. Can there be such a thing as love in a place like this?" (Pamuk, p 450)

When she asked us how we'd like our Nescafés, Aunt Nesibe said, "I'll have Turkish coffee, my girl -- if that's possible." (Pamuk, p 452)

Perhaps the Inci Patisserie in Beyoglu is still open, and I can have a profiterole (Pamuk, p 453, 455) At a back table, Füsun's pronouncements to Kemal -- and her declaration that she never slept with Feridun -- were enough to make the reader jump, in ecstacy that the narrator, female protagonist and the entire plot itself was in fact happy, with justice and liberty for all (Pamuk, p 456-458).

Being agitated, as she always was on such occasions, she did not stop talking the whole way. "Oh, look how nicely they've done those sidewalks," she said as we came closer to Füsun's house. "I've always wanted to see this neighborhood. What a lovely hill that is. What nice snug places they seem to have here." As we entered the house, a cool wind swept up the dust from the cobblestones, presaging rain. (Pamuk, p 462-463)

I'd love to visit the Meserret Coffeehouse in Sirkeci on Babiali Hill (Pamuk, p 466), as well as the National Sandwich and Refreshment Palace outside the Austrian Consulate (Pamuk, p 466-467).

Her skull was crushed, tearing the meninges of the brain whose wonders had always surprised me, and shed suffered a severe laceration of the eck, as well as several broken ribs and glass splinters in her forehead. All the rest of her beautiful ring -- her sad eyes; her miraculous lips; her large pink tongue; her velvet cheeks; her shapely shoulders; the silky skin of her throat, chest, neck, and belly; her long legs; her delicate feet, the sight of which had always made me smile; her slender honey-hued arms, whith their moles and downy brown hair; the curves of her buttocks; and her soul, which had always drawn me to her -- remained intact. (Pamuk, p 489)

Mehmet explained that Sibel had been needling Nurcihan for becoming too "a la Turca," going to gazinos to hear classical singers like Muzeyyen Senar and Zeki Muren, and fasting during Ramadan (Pamuk, p 491)

There were more of these new streets, these strange new concrete neighborhoods with each passing day, and they served only to reinforce my impression since getting out of the hospital that with Füsun's death, Istanbul had become a very different city. Let me say now that this feeling was my most important preparation for the many years of wandering that lay ahead. (Pamuk, p 492)

Throughout the book, when Kemal mentions going through Füsun's drawers many years later, he is referring to his Nesibe-sanctioned pilfering after Füsun's unintentional suicide (Pamuk, p 493).

I happened on a box at the back of a drawer, and within it I found the pair of butterfly-shaped earrings, each bearing the initial F, that she had been wearing st the time of the accident, despite having insisted for years that she'd lost one of them. (Pamuk, p 493)

There was the Musee Edith Piaf, founded by a great admirer, and the Musee de la Prefecture de Police, where I spent an entire day; and the Musee Jacquemart-Andre, where other objects were arranged alongside paintings in a most original way -- I saw empty chairs, chandeliers, and haunting unfurnished spaces there. Whenever wandering alone through museums like this, I felt myself uplifted. (Pamuk, p 495)

I must visit Musee Nissim de Camondo, Musee de la Poste and Micromusee su Service des Objets Trouves (Pamuk, p 495). Also I must endeavor to Musee Maurice Rabel and Musee Gustave Moreau (Pamuk, p 496).

To stroll through these Paris museums was to be released from the shame of my collection at the Merhamet Apartments. No longer an oddball embarrassed by the things he had hoarded, I was gradually awakening to the pride of a collector. (Pamuk, p 496)

One evening while drinking alone at the Hotel du Nord, gazing at the strangers around me, I caught myself asking these questions that occur to every Turk who goes abroad (if he has some education and a bit of money): What did these Europeans think about me? What did they think about us all? (Pamuk, p 496)

On arriving in a new city I would move into the old but comfortable and centrally located hotel that I had booked from Istanbul, and armed with the knowledge acquired from the books and guides read in advance, I would begin my rounds of the city's most noteworthy museums, never rushing, never skipping a single one, like a student meticulously completing an assignment. And then I would scan the flea markets; if I happened on a saltshaker, an ashtray, or a bottle opener identical to one I'd seen in the Keskin household, or if anything else struck my fancy, I would buy it. ... In the morning, after a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, I would kill time on the avenues and in the cafes until the little museums had opened; I'd write postcards to my mother and Aunt Nesibe, peruse the local papers, trying to figure out what had happened in Istanbul and the world, and at eleven o'clock I would pick up my notebook and set out hopefully on the day's program. (Pamuk, p 498)

On my itinerary are now Helsinki City Musejk, Converted former hat factory, museum in Cazelles near Lyon France, State Museum of Wurttemberg, Musee international de la parfumerie in south of France, Munich's Alte Pinakothek, Musee de la Vie Romantique in Paris, Goteborgs Historiska Museum, Brevik Town Museum, Civici Museo del Mae in Trieste and Museum of Insects and Butterflies in La Ceiba Honduras (Pamuk, p 499). The author also mentions Museum of Chinese Medicine in Hangzhou, Musee du Tabac in Paris, Musee de l'Atelier de Paul Cezanne, Rockox House in Antwerp, Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, Museum of London barbershop, Florence Nightingale Museum, Musee de Temps in Besancon, Teylers Museum in Haarlem, Fort St. George Museum in Madras (Pamuk, p 500), Castelvecchio Museum in Verona, Museum for Dinge in Berlin, Carvaggio's The Sacrifice of Isaac at the Uffizi in Florence, Sir John Soane's Musrum in London, New York Glove Museum, Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, the "sentimental collection which was on the top floor" of the Museu Frederic Mares in Barcelona (Pamuk, p 501), Ava Gardner Museum in North Carolina, Museum of Beverage Containers and Advertising near Nashville, the allegedly closed Tragedy in U.S. History Museum in Saint Augustine Florida (Pamuk, p 502), Museum Bergrruen in Berlin (Pamuk, p 511), F. M. Dostoevsky Literary-Memorial Museum in Saint Petersburg (Pamuk, p 512-513), Nobokov Museum in Saint Petersburg, Musée Marcel Proust in Illiers-Combray, Spinoza's house in Rijnsburg, Tagore Museum, Pirandello's house in Agrigento, Sicily, Strindberg Museum in the Blue Tower in Stockholm, Edgar Allen Poe's house in Baltimore (which most reminded Kemal "of the Keskin household, its forlorn air, its rooms and its shape"), Museum Mario Praz on Giulia Street in ROme ("the most magnificent writer's museum"), Mario Praz's home, Flaubert's house in Rouen, Musée Flaubert et d'Historie de la Médecine (Pamuk, p 513), Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia, Museum of the Romantic Era in Oporto, Portugla (Pamuk, p 519) and Bagatti Valsecchi Museum (Pamuk, p 526).

I want to spend the rest of my life under the same roof with this car ... There are lots of things stored in the Merhamet Apartments. I want to bring them together under one roof and spend the rest of my days among them. (Pamuk, p 503)

They begin ... in pursuit of an answer, a consolation, even a palliative for a pain, a resolution of difficulty, or simply out of a dark compulsion. (Pamuk, p 504)

In December 1996, a lone hoarder ("collector" would be the wrong word) named Necdet Adsiz, who lived in Tophane, a mere seven-minute walk from the Keskin's house, was crushed to death beneath the accumulated piles of paper and old objects in his little house, not to be discovered, let alone mourned, until four months later, whn in summer the stench coming from the house grew unbearable. (Pamuk, p 506)

Necdet Adsiz, the man crushed to death beneath his hoard, whose body was left to rot, was the same Necdet whom Füsun had mentioned at the end of the engagement party at the Hilton, when the subjct of seances came up -- the friend she'd assumed to be dead. (Pamuk, p 507)

All these objects -- the saltshakers, china dogs, thimbles, pencils, barrettes, ashtrays -- had a way of migrating, like the flocks of storks that flew silently over Istanbul twice a year to every part of the world. ... This saltshaker, made in a small Istanbul factor, which sat on the Keskin table for two years, was to be seen in restaurants in the poorer parts of Istanbul, but I also noticed it in a Halal restaurant in New Delhi, in a soup kitchen in an old quarter of Cairo, among the wares the peddlers set out on the canvases they spread on the sidewalks of Barcelona every Sunday, and in an unremarkable kitchen supply store in Rome. What is certain: Someone somewhere had produced the first of these saltshakers, and then others made molds from them for mass production in many other countries, so that over the years, millions of copies had spread out from the southern Mediterranean and the Balkans, to enter the daily lives o untold families. ... Another wave of saltshakers would always arrive, the old ones replaced with the new, as surely as a south wind deposits it debris on the shore, and each time people would forget the objects with which they had lived so intimately, never even acknowledging their emotional attachment to them. (Pamuk, p 510-511)

She wept a bit for Füsun, and with the cigarette still in her mouth, and the tears still streaming down her cheeks, she gave me a mysterious smile. (Pamuk, p 511)

I could see it all -- the things that Füsun and her family had used in this house, the rusting wreck of the Chevrolet, every fixture from the stove to the refrigerator, from the table on which we ate supper for eight years to the television we had watched while eating; and like a shaman who can see the souls of things, I could feel their stories flickering inside me. (Pamuk, p 512)

In the light of the moon, each and every thing tucked into the shadows, as if part of the empty space, seemed to point to an indivisible moment, akin to Aristotle's indivisible atoms. I realized then that just as the line joining together Aristotle's moments was Time, so, too, the line joining together these objects would be a story. In other words, a writer might undertake to write the catalog in the same form as he might write a novel. But having no desire to attempt such a book myself, I asked: Who could do this for me?

This is how I came to seek out the esteemed Orhan Pamuk, who has narrated the story in my name, and with my approval. Once upon a time his father and uncle did business with my father and the rest of us. Coming as he did from an old Nisantasi family that had lost its fortune, he would, I thought, have an excellent understanding of the background of my story. I had also heard that he was a man lovingly devoted to his work and who took storytelling seriously. (Pamuk, p 512)

The house in Rouen where Flaubert was born was full of his father's medical books, so there was no need for a writer to visit the Musée Flaubert et d'Histoire de la Médecine. Then I looked carefully into our author's eyes: "While Flaubert was writing Madame Bovary, inspired by his beloved Louise Collet, to whom he had made love in his horse carriages and provincial hotels, just as in the novel, he kept in a drawer a lock of her hair, as well as a handkerchief and a slipper of hers, and he would, from time to time, take these things out to caress them, looking in particular at the slipper to recall how she walked -- as you certainly know from his letters, Orhan Bey. ... I once loved a woman so much that I, too, hid away locks of her hair, and her handkerchiefs, and her barrettes, and everything she ever owned, and for many years I found consolation in them, Orhan Bey. May I, in all sincerity, tell you my story?" ... So it was during our first meeting, at Hünkar (the restaurant that had replaced the now defunct Fuaye), that I told him my whole story -- not in a disciplined way, but jumping back and forth -- in the space of three hours. ... Whenever I was in Istanbul he would come to my attice once a week, always asking ... (Pamuk, p 513-514)

I would try, yet again to explain the spiritual effect that the silence of the museums had one me, what sublime happiness it was to be in a far corner of the world on an ordinary Tuesday morning, strolling through a forgotten museum in an out-of-the-way neighborhood, and evading the scrutiny of the guards. (Pamuk, p 515)

"I am writing the novel in the first person singular," said Orhan Bey. ... "In the book you are telling your own story, and saying 'I,' Kemal Bey. I am speaking in your voice. Right now I am trying very hard to put myself in your place, to be you." "I understand," I said. "So tell me, have you ever been in love this way, Orhan Bey?" "Hmmmmm . . . We aren't talking about me," he said, and he fell silent. (Pamuk, p 515)

It was time I left it to him to finish my story. From the next paragraph until the end, it will, in essence, be Orhan Bey who is telling the story. (Pamuk, p 516)

Hello, this is Orhan Pamuk! (Pamuk, p 516)

I was not handsome or flamboyant enough to catch her eye, and, though five years older than her, I was not, how shall I put it, mature enough, and in those days I didn't have much self-confidence, either. (Pamuk, p 516)

We left the dance floor hand in hand, going upstairs to the bar; we were falling madly in love; we were kissing under those trees just over there; I was sure we would be getting married! (Pamuk, p 517)

Exactly thirty years later [2005], as I revise these lines ... (Pamuk, p 518)

If the objects that bring us shame are displayed in a museum, they are immediately transformed into possessions in which to take pride. (Pamuk, p 518)

The first mention of the Museum of Innocence was on the following page, I believe, but did not quite keep track,

The guards at the Museum of Innocence are to wear velvet business suits the color of dark wood -- this being in keeping with the collection's ambiance and also Füsun's spirit -- with light pink shirts and special museum ties embroidered with images of Füsun's earrings, and, of course, they should leave gum chewers and kissing couples to their own devices. The Museum of Innocence will be forever open to lovers who can't find another place to kiss in Istanbul. (Pamuk, p 519)

With extraordinary candor, carefully choosing his words, he [Feridun] told me how he had loved only once in his life, but that Füsun had never paid him any heed, and so he'd been careful not to relive that sorrow by falling in love with her again once they were married, particularly since he knew that Füsun married him only because she'd been "obliged" to do so. (Pamuk, p 523)

Pamuk mentions the first sentence of his own novel The New Life when Feridun asks to use it in a campaign for Bora, the new product from the soft drinks giant that had produced Meltem (Pamuk, p 523). I'll have to read The New Life, as well as all of Pamuk's books.

European families go out together on a Sunday to visit a great museum, just as we used to get into our cars for a Sunday drive down the Bosphorus. And they sit in the museum restaurants and laugh, just as we do in Bosphorus restaurants. Proust wrote of how the furnishings of his aunt's house were sold to a brothel after her death, and how every time he saw her chairs and tables in this place he felt as if every object was crying. When the Sunday crowds pour through museums, the collected objects cry. (Pamuk, p 524)

When Kemal had set eyes on the family enjoying their multicolored cones of orange, strawberry, and melon ice cream, and peering into shop windows, and laughing jovially as they strolled down the street, he at first saw only Gul, and her resemblance to her mother was so great that he went up to her and said, "Sibel! Sibel! Hello, this is Kemal." (Pamuk, p 527)

He kissed Füsun's photograph lovingly, and placed it with care into the breast pocket of his jacket. Then he smiled at me, victorious. "Let everyone know, I lived a very happy life." (Pamuk, p 531)