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23. Silence

The Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence

"During our conversations in the attic, Kemal rarely referred to the details of the happy days of lovemaking he and Füsun shared in the spring of 1974. Yet I always thought these details were necessary to the novel. He was uncomfortable talking about sex, but not about kissing, which he spoke about more readily. During one of our late-night rakı drinking sessions, I found out that he sometimes associated kissing with visions of a mother seagull putting food into her impatient chicks’ open beaks. As a child who had grown up seeing seagulls nesting on the roofs and chimney tops of Istanbul, I knew what he meant. He also said that kissing made him think of a seagull gently holding a fig in its beak, and I suggested that we commission a painting of kissing seagulls to hang in a corner of our museum. “Yes, but I don’t want anything by these new copycat painters,” Kemal had said. “Find something in an old book. And make sure that you can see the juice dripping from the fig!”" (The Innocence of Objects by Orhan Pamuk)

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  • Title: 23. Silence

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