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Jo's Favorites

The Museum of Innocence

Jo' s favourite book for this week, (and I would say favourite of all the books I have ever read); is  "The Museum of Innocence" by the Turkish writer and Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk.

It is hard to describe the level of my admiration for this book, and especially the amazing love story between the main characters. Yet this novel is so much more than a love story.

The  physical connection that the writer enables us to feel by establishing an actual Museum of Innocence in Istanbul, provided me with a whole new level of understanding and appreciating literature as a form of art and inspiration. As Orhan Pamuk stated himself, with this museum he wanted to teach not only Turkish people, but all the people of the world to take pride in the lives they live.

Istanbul is always a good idea

This philosophy is so close to my way of thinking and I felt instant connection with all the good and bad things that are happening to the characters in this book: -

“In fact no one recognizes the happiest moment of their lives as they are living it. It may well be that, in a moment of joy, one might sincerely believe that they are living that golden instant "now," even having lived such a moment before, but whatever they say, in one part of their hearts they still believe in the certainty of a happier moment to come. Because how could anyone, and particularly anyone who is still young, carry on with the belief that everything could only get worse: If a person is happy enough to think he has reached the happiest moment of his life, he will be hopeful enough to believe his future will be just as beautiful, more so.”

Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence

This passage is an incredible explanation of a very important philosophy. We all need to finally learn that all we have from life is this very moment. Only "now" is what counts. The past is over and the future is distant and uncertain. Yet it is so hard for us to integrate this or to fully accept it as true. We always think that something is not good enough- maybe our dinner setting or our dress, or the weather or our partner. Or, or, or...

The novel

Book you can shop here

By not understanding the power of now, we are losing a myriad chances of enjoying life as it is. In all its fullness and completeness, with its positive aspects and negative contrasts.

muzej nevinosti2
The museum of innocence, details

I could include a nice review of the book and give an ode to Orhan Pamuk's marvelous writing style, or I could tell you about the novel's main character Kemal and his love obsession with Fusun, a beautiful shop clerk. I could also try to summarize the amazing story of love and the passage of time which is so ingeniously described in over 500 pages of this novel. But I will not. I will leave it for you my dear readers to get a copy of this fascinating book, explore it yourself, and enjoy it.

N.B: One more passage to think about:

“Any intelligent person knows that life is a beautiful thing and that the purpose of life is to be happy," said my father as he watched the three beauties. "But it seems only idiots are ever happy. How can we explain this?”

Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence