Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence is that book for me.
The bulky, voluminous book stayed in my handbag for a month, allowing me relish few pages during my journey from work to home. I loved holding it. I can sense its weight and in true sense of world, my hands were full.
It has everything to grip you tightly. Love, separation, anxiety and death. It has words that weave wisdom, sentences that keep wrinkle straight and pages that give pangs.
The book is an account of love between a wealthy businessman Kemal and a poorer distant relation Füsun during the period 1975 to 1984 in Istanbul. Kemal was in a stable relation, when Fusun entered with an intimacy into his life. The predictable relation got fade and the intimate relation became Kemal’s life.
Kemal loved, the way love is. Kemal lost, the way love is. He denied, his own love to himself. He lied, his physical encounter to his love. Finally, he surrendered, to love.
In all he taught how to love. He treasured the love, its moments and objects. The collection of objects were symbolic of his love, resulting in Museum of Innocence. He kept collecting the trivial objects that witnessed or were part of his love, to create the museum that will be collectible representation of his love saga.
The book itself is a meseum, of wit, wary and wisdom. After all, as Orhan himself said “Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.”. It did that with my time, every-time I picked it.