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13. Love, Courage, Modernity

The Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence

"Years later, as I struggled to understand why she was so dear to me, I would try to evoke not just our lovemaking but the room in which we made love, and our surroundings, and ordinary objects. Sometimes one of the big crows that lived in the back garden would perch on the balcony to watch us in silence. It was the spitting image of a crow that had perched on our balcony at home when I was a child. Then my mother would say, “Come on now, go to sleep. Look, the crow is watching you,” and that would frighten me. Füsun, too, had had a crow that had frightened her that way." (The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk)

"The photograph under the crow is from my childhood. I sometimes like to look out of the bedroom windows of the house in Nişantaşı—over the cypress and linden trees—into the bedrooms of neighboring flats.
As I looked out of the window, I would hear the flapping of wings and notice that a large crow, now taking flight off the balcony edge, had also been looking out at the view. For a moment, I’d feel at one with it.
During our last meetings in the attic of the museum building, drinking rakı as Kemal told me his story in all its details, I would sometimes say that I too had been through similar experiences; yet our hero took no heed of my words. But when I mentioned the Milky Way and the stars I could see from my home, he himself ripped out the page displayed in this box, from a children’s encyclopaedia he found among the objects in the İnayet Apartments.
On one of these nights, he had me smell the Spleen perfume Sibel had bought in Paris. Even more so than Baudelaire’s Parisian anguish, it smelled of nighttime and eternity." (The Innocence of Objects by Orhan Pamuk)

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  • Title: 13. Love, Courage, Modernity

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