The Museum of Innocence
Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk’s novel The Museum of Innocence (2008) tells an intense love story between a wealthy businessman Kemal and his poorer cousin Füsun. Despite Kemal’s engagement to another woman, the characters fall in love with one another and carry a relationship until Füsun disappears and leaves Kemal puzzled, only to be rejoined after several years. In the novel we follow Kemal’s obsession and love for Füsun through the objects he collects that are reminders of her; a used cigarette, a hair pin, a tea cup.
The museum displays the artifacts of their love story, presenting what the novel’s characters “used, wore, heard, saw, collected and dreamed of, all meticulously arranged in boxes and display cabinets.” The collection, which includes more than a thousand objects, is housed in a 19th-century house on the corner of Çukurcuma Sokak and Dalgıç Sokak. Kemal, the main character of the book, lived in this house.
Pamuk opened the museum in 2012, however he had developed the idea for the museum and novel in parallel. Everything in the museum’s four floors references the novel and the era in which the story was set.
If you have a copy of the book, make sure you bring it with you for free entrance.