A Writer’s Guide to the World’s Most Underrated Museums
Orhan Pamuk is a Turkish novelist who in 2006 won the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is the author of novels including The White Castle, The Black Book, The New Life, My Name Is Red, Snow, The Museum of Innocence, and A Strangeness in My Mind.\r\n
He is the Robert Yik-Fong Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he teaches writing and comparative literature. Pamuk holds honorary doctorates from the Free University of Berlin, Tilburg University, Boğaziçi University, and Georgetown, and his books have been translated into more than fifty languages.\r\n
Question: What are some of the world’s most neglected museums?
Orhan Pamuk: Okay, I'll mention them. For example, Bagatti Valsecchi in Milano, one of the sources of my museum. In fact, when the book was published in Italy, I went there, had a reading there, trying to highlight the museum because this was a museum done in the mid-19th century by two Italian aristocrats to represent fifteen-and-fourteenth-century Renaissance life in Italy. They had bought all the things, Renaissance things, from flea markets because they were cheap and available at that time, and converted their own homes into a museum. But then they were using these museum objects, old objects, real objects from the Renaissance, as their daily life objects. And I like museums where people think about their life after death, and slowly and slowly, before they ****, convert their homes into museums. There are places like that -- for example Musée Gustave Moreau in Paris. Gustave Moreau, I think, is a classicistic, a bit kitschy painter, but a great painter. But an interesting figure. Proust mentioned so many writers. André Malraux -- surrealists were influenced by him. Why? Not because of the quality of his paintings, I think, but because of the idea of his museums. He comes from a well-to-do family, and towards the end of his life he converted his studio, the house his family lived in all along for years, into a museum, calculating that after his death his studio and house will be a museum. And he was successful in that. Just because his museum was successful, we still know the name Gustave Moreau.
Orhan Pamuk has a penchant for the great but forgotten museums that inspired the likes of Proust and Malraux—places where one goes to contemplate "life after death."
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.
Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?
An innovation may lead to lifelike self-reproducing and evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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