I have been remiss. I wrote about LA FOLIE BAUDELAIRE by Roberto Calasso for the Los Angeles Times but it has not been published. I have been reading and reading as… but until this have not been able to over-come the enervating feeling of why…
The INNOCENCE OF OBJECTS (Şeylerin Masumiyeti) by Orhan Pamuk… (Abrams, NY) I had begun to write this in longhand and as I was now typing I realized innocence is not an aspect of an object--- one assumes a physical aspect--- as innocence and its partner guilty can only be applied to the actions of a human being possessed of the ability to tell right from wrong, good from evil.
How is that for traditional theology and I assume even philosophy? Probably something or other…
THE INNOCENCE OF OBJECTS Is a picture book with text describing the establishing and the contents of a museum that was derived from Pamuk’s novel of good recent memory: THE MUSEUM OF INNOCENCE.. and of course he has done what I can well imagine is the desire of every novelist… to physically incarnate his mental, his dream creations… even Nabokov composed as we all know the screenplay for LOLITA
The book is beautifully produced and is quite faithful to the Turkish original that I purchased on Istiklal Cd. in Istanbul this summer when I was there with my son… however the great cemetery near Eyűp was more enticing than this new museum for this visitor and I prefer to turn the pages of the book then to have visited it… museums have to age, have to fall apart a little to be really interesting and that is what I liked about the archeology museum near Topkapi… it had the just right amount of abandonment to invoke past.
The most perfect tour of torment for a soul sent to Purgatory for wanting to be modern and up to date would be to find him or herself condemned to endless have to talk through MOMA, the Whitney and the Guggenheim museums in NYC…looking at each and every object over and over again.
Of course Pamuk’s museum has two competitors that I can think of the Watt’s Towers and Howard Finster’s PARADISE GARDEN… and they both have the advantage of actually being built by their creators whereas poor Pamuk had to pay and pay and pay to have his museum built, though since he was spending his own money…
He mentions Sir John Soane’s museum in London but that museum is free. Mr. Pamuk’s museum charges an admission fee. Howard Finister’s Paradise is also free as is the Watts Towers. However if you bring along a copy of THE MUSEUM OF INNOCENCE you are admitted as if only right and proper. I do hope there is a gift shop with the necessary t-shirt which I hope is free of a portrait of the author.
But a book like this finally only works if it recalls memory within the reader or viewer. Exhibit 24 worked best for me. “The Engagement Party” and on the opposite page postcards of the Istanbul Hilton… there on Cumhuriyet Cad… of fond memory in 1967 when I went to visit Peace Corps friends… no…not that path, right now. I do remember how Turks dressed up to go there while the Americans went casually as if going home… we took it all for granted and… now of course there are books about how the international style architecture was a form of cultural imperialism etc… etc... when I went there in 1985 we only looked it as if had become a little shabby while today it is where lower ranked salesman are stored when visiting… and beyond whole new developments of the present and the grim future.
NEWS FROM THE FUTURE
From JOHN JORDAN.
“The narrative of modern so-called Irish fiction in English is: James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Flann O’Brien, Aidan Higgins, Desmond Hogan while slightly in-shore reside three joyfully sullen islands: Francis Stuart, Ralph Cusack and Thomas McGonigle”
From Frederick von Saar.
'Kaasaegne nunda nimetatud Iiri Ilukirjandus inglise keeles narratiiv on: James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Flann O'Brien, Aidan Higgins, Desmond Hogan, kuigi veidi-kaldal elavad kolm rõõmsalt laubal saared: Francis Stuart, Ralph Cusack ja Thomas McGonigle'