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22. The Hand of Rahmi Efendi

The Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence

"I decided at the last minute to replace the mournful sleeping dog (which was in the novel) with this optimistic dog (which was not) looking up at Rahmi Efendi’s hand. The more I worked on the museum and realized that I could use the objects to bring out themes beyond those of the novel, the freer I felt. On the other hand, I also wanted there to be an exact concordance between the museum and the novel. From watching visitors to the museum who had also read the book, I realized that readers remembered no more than six pages of descriptive detail in the six-hundred-page novel. Readers who looked at the displays were likelier to remember the emotions they’d felt while reading the novel rather than the objects in it.
The fundamental emotion in this chapter is guilt: the guilt that Kemal sometimes felt to excess and sometimes didn’t feel enough of; the guilt that someone engaged and soon to be married would feel and try to forget when faced with someone whose father whittled his life away at work before passing away; the guilt that people (including me) are moved to feel at the sight of mosques and minarets and Atatürk’s stern frown." (The Innocence of Objects by Orhan Pamuk)

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  • Title: 22. The Hand of Rahmi Efendi

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