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3. Distant Relations

The Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence

"At supper that evening I mentioned to my mother that I had run into our distant relation Füsun while buying a handbag for Sibel.
“Oh, yes, Nesibe’s daughter is working in that shop of Şenay’s up there, and what a shame it is!” said my mother. “They don’t even visit us for the holidays anymore. That beauty contest put them in such an awkward position. I walk past that shop every day, but I can’t even bring myself to go inside and say hello to the poor girl—nor in fact does it even cross my mind. But when she was little, you know, I was very fond of her. When Nesibe came to sew, she’d come too sometimes. I’d get your toys out of the cupboard and while her mother sewed she’d play with them quietly".
Aunt Nesibe, without saying a word, had allowed her sixteen-year-old daughter, then a student at Nişantaşı Lycée for Girls, to enter a beauty contest; and on sub-sequently learning that Aunt Nesibe had in fact encouraged her daughter, even taking pride in this stunt that should have caused her to feel only shame, my mother had hardened her heart toward Aunt Nesibe, whom she had once so loved and protected. For her part, Aunt Nesibe had always esteemed my mother, who was twenty years older, and who had been supportive of her when she was a young woman going from house to house in Istanbul’s most affluent neighborhoods, in search of work as a seamstress." (The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk)

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  • Title: 3. Distant Relations

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