Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk described love as a car crash, while speaking about his 2008 book The Museum of Innocence.
“My novel The Museum of Innocence and the museum itself [located in Istanbul’s Çukurcuma quarter] doesn’t have much to do with the magical aspect of love. ‘Oh, how beautiful love is’ is not what my novel is saying. This is how we feel when we are in love but what kinds of things can happen ? In my book, I described love as if it were a crash, something terrible that has happened to us, something dark, incomprehensible, and out of our hands,” Pamuk said.
Pamuk, who is Turkey’s most well-known author internationally, built a museum following the plot of his book, in which the lovesick Kemal creates a museum based around objects related to his lost lover. The museum opened in 2012 in a historic building in Çukurcuma, where much of the book is set, and has become a popular tourist destination for locals and foreign visitors alike.
Pamuk himself, known as somewhat of a ladies’ man, has been compared to Kemal, the main characater of the book.
“I take it as a compliment. Most likely no one wants to say I can’t write what I write without living it. I write very slowly and with much thought in order for it to be believable. If we don’t experience love at that moment we can live it through reading,” Pamuk said.