The Innocence of Objects is by Turkish author/Nobel Prize recipient Orhan Pamuk.

From the jacket flap:

“Orham Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence in Istanbul, a strikingly original cultural project that took its creator decades to complete, seeks to capture the city of Pamuk’s youth through everyday objects: the ephemera, bric-a-brac, and clutter that adheres to every life. These particular objects are intimately tied to The Museum of Innocence, Pamuk’s novel of lost love, which lends its narrative structure to their arrangement in the museum. Beautifully designed vitrines, or boxes, containing carefully arranged collections of objects, carry the visitor along the arc of the story, on a journey through time and space as well as into the mind of the collector himself, ambiguously identified with both Pamuk and his novel’s lovelorn narrator.”

From the text:

“I kept seeking out more small museums in my travels. What I found most enthralling was the way in which objects removed from the kitchens, bedrooms, and dinner tables where they had once been utilized would come together to form a new texture, an unintentionally striking web of relationships. I realized that when arranged with love and care, objects in the museum–an odd photograph, a bottle opener, a picture of a boat, a coffee cup, a postcard–could attain much greater significance than they had before. I had to put these strange photographs and used objects on my desk and reimagine them as pieces belonging to the lives of real people.

The more I looked at the objects on my desk next to my notebook–rusty keys, candy boxes, pliers, and lighters–the more I felt as if they were communicating with one another. Their ending up in this place after being uprooted from the places they used to belong to and separated from the people whose lives they were once part of–their loneliness, in a word–aroused in me the shamanic belief that objects too have spirits.”


  1. Thanks for posting. I recommend Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul Memories and the City. And a slight segue, Patrick Leigh Fermor. Both conjure the FEEL of a place. Start with Fermor's A Time of Gifts and his Between the Woods and the Water. They are the story of his walk across Europe in 1933 as a young man.

    And on another note, I LOVE your posts! 🙂

  2. Dear Heather,

    honest now, before I read the post, the first thing I thought of when I saw the title was, "Cool, that would make a great book title."

  3. Anonymous says: Reply

    I have only read one of his books- not this and found it difficult to get through. Might try this or another.

    Isn't is amazing how we are waiting to see who the new pope will be? I hope the man is younger and able to tackle a great deal of the responsibilities.

    Inspite of dire warnings by some – Catholic church will survive. And become stronger.

  4. I've never read Pamuk. I will definitely interlibrary loan this. I've felt the same way about the Eucharist in the monstrance, the deliberate presentation of an object elevating its meaning…the idea that it helps us to communicate with others is fascinating.

Leave a Reply

Discover more from HEATHER KING

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading