32. The Shadows and Ghosts I Mistook for Fusun

The Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence

"On this map we’ve marked the places where Kemal, delusional in his heartbreak, mistook his visions of Füsun for reality. We used the image from a postcard to indicate Füsun. I always think it’s wrong to put images of my protagonists on the cover of my novels because readers can identify with characters only if they are given the chance to imagine them independently. (We were able to set up the museum because this rule does not apply to objects.) A similar logic convinced me of the necessity to avoid showing the faces of the novel’s main characters in the museum. That is until I came across a postcard of the Dolmabahçe Clock Tower in the 1970s—seen here on the left—and thought of Füsun. There is not much resemblance in the face, but there is something of Füsun in the clothes and straight-backed posture of the girl with the bag and red blouse standing in the foreground. When I showed Aunt Nesibe the postcard at her new flat on Kuyulu Bostan Street, she said she was very glad that, after Kemal’s death, I was setting up the museum and—perhaps think¬ing that this was what I wanted to hear—said, “Yes, this is Füsun,” before she burst into tears. And so it was that we came to place cutouts of the girl with the red blouse in all the spots where a heartbroken Kemal saw the ghost of Füsun." (The Innocence of Objects by Orhan Pamuk)

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  • Title: 32. The Shadows and Ghosts I Mistook for Fusun