Museum of Innocence

22 03 2010

I came across the Turkish author and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk a while ago online and have been looking forward to read his ‘My Name is Red’ ever since. I zeroed in this particular book, among other well lauded ones of the author,  for no special reason other than that its title piqued my curiosity and promised a unique experience.

But when I learned about his recent book – The Museum of Innocence, I at once grabbed it from the library with much anticipation. And I was not disappointed.  In fact, I loved it. It’s a story of love and obsession about a rich business man, Kemal, who gets smitten by the beautiful distant poor relative, Fusun, who is 12 years younger than him.

I was really awestruck by the depth and intensity of Kemal’s feelings for Fusun, his ability to take refuge in her memories and notably from the various petty things related to her directly or indirectly.  His longing and perseverance is evident in the fact that he continued to visit Fusun’s house for 8 long years in the hope that she would come back to him one day.

At the end of around 10 long years pining for her, Fusun agrees to marry him. But she dies in a car accident the morning after their informal and private engagement. Kemal lives the rest of his life creating the Museum of Innocence, whose exhibits are all those things he had collected that reminds him of Fusun.  In essence, Musuem of Innocence is a tribute to his love for Fusun.

This novel got me wondering about the possibility of living for love and love alone. I was really intrigued. One important thing I liked in this novel is that the author didn’t seem to be keen on giving a name to Kemal’s feelings for Fusun and he didn’t try to glorify it. He narrated the story as a matter of fact. I felt that the last words of Kemal, which are also of the novel, were the most profound ones in that they made me look at his life in new light: “Let everyone know, I lived a very happy life.”

The story takes place in Istanbul and the author, through his picturesque narration introduces us to the life in the city and also makes us privy to its many quirks.

Museum of Innocence, with its richness and depth, will remain as one my favorites forever.



One response

26 12 2010
My reading in 2010 « Peek Inside My Mind

[…] heart-felt book I was fortunate to read this year is The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk. It was simply amazing. The author had left me awestruck. Looking forward to read more of him. In […]

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