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  2. Texas death row inmate maintains innocence as latest execution date looms
  3. Guide Innocence lost in the ice cream forest
  4. The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine

And I explain what I have to when they ask. How can there be all that and Santa Claus, too? Which brings me back to Bratz, Baghdad and violent video games.


Nor am I a solitary voice in the quest to keep kids away from the sordid details of war and video games that let them kill on screen. Just as I recently thanked my mother for not telling me about the starving kids in Biafra, the Afghanistan war and The Diary of Anne Frank until I was old enough to handle it. I know my kids despise my sheltering ways. Maybe they really, really feel they deserve a doll that looks like a prostitute. Maybe they feel entitled to wear high heels, high-cut T-shirts and carry a camouflage backpack to school.

Too bad, is my feeling.

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A press opening had been announced, with events scheduled from 9. I have a weak spot for endurance-style literary events. The day before the opening, I stopped by the campus bookstore and bought a copy of the novel, planning to skim the first hundred pages. I stayed up past two. Nearby, a cat had made itself comfortable in some kind of venerable stone urn — only its satisfied head was sticking out. Standing on tiptoe outside the banqueting hall, I counted ten television crews. One of the cameramen, a burly felonious-looking type with a shaved head, winked at me.

The inspiration for the Museum of Innocence came to Pamuk in , while he was having dinner with the last prince of the Ottoman dynasty. Exiled after the formation of the Turkish republic, the prince ended up in Alexandria and worked for decades at the Antoniadis Palace museum, first as a ticket collector and then as director. Now, back in Istanbul after a fifty-year exile, he needed a job. The guests discussed the delicate subject of employment for the straitened septuagenarian prince of a defunct empire.

Someone said the Ihlamur Palace museum might need a guide: who better than the prince, who had lived there as a child? Pamuk was immediately taken by the idea of a man who outlives his era and becomes the guide to his own house-museum. Seventy years ago, in this room, I sat with my aide-de-camp and studied mathematics! Ten years later, Pamuk came up with an insane plan: to write a novel in the form of a museum catalogue, while simultaneously building the museum to which it referred.

Texas death row inmate maintains innocence as latest execution date looms

In fact, his first step was to contact a real-estate agent. He could afford a single floor in a stone building in the old Ottoman commercial centre of Galata, but then the remodelling would be difficult. The beautiful rundown wooden houses near the old city walls were the right price, but those were in religious neighbourhoods, and this was a novel about the secular middle classes. For the next ten years, writing and shopping proceeded in a dialectical relationship. Occasionally an object refused to be swallowed, as happened with some carriage lanterns and an old gas meter.

Pamuk published The Museum of Innocence in It resembles less a museum catalogue than a page audio guide.

A ticket printed in the back of each copy grants one free entry to the museum. He wanted to be Joyce.

The museum had to be a thing of beauty. One character was talking about a brothel in a seven-storey Greek building on Siraselviler, the street I had taken from the metro to Cihangir. I thought it was a pretty good model for a brothel to have seven identical floors. The monkey had a tremendously detailed, worried little face. They drove away. Other boxes contained material interpretations of things that, in the book, had no material.

Guide Innocence lost in the ice cream forest

Box 29 contains a sculpture called Black Light Machine which, incorporating parts from a toy steamboat, a 19th-century pasta machine and several clocks, represents this eternally burning black lamp of unforgettable love. The most elaborate visual representation of frozen time is Box 68, Cigarette Stubs.

From a distance, it looks like a giant cuneiform text. Kiymet turned out to be a friend of a friend of mine.

The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine

My friend — a conceptual artist whose works in progress include a monument to time made out of her own hair — arranged a meeting for us, which ended up taking place on the deck of a Bosphorus ferry. I asked whether the stains on the filters were real. Pamuk spent last summer captioning each stub, by hand, with the date of its retrieval by Kemal. It contains a single gold butterfly earring suspended in front of a tulle curtain, which trembles by some mechanical or magical-realist means. The quivering earring seems to afford a glimpse not just of the time of Eros, but of the Eros of time — the way it can hover before your eyes, golden and tremulous.

The museum does the same thing: labouring to re-create, through thousands of hours of cigarette-squashing and clock-dismantling, an effortless instant. Replicas of the earring may be purchased in the museum shop.