Did Pamuk first write the novel and then set up the museum?
From the outset, Pamuk developed his idea for the novel and the museum in parallel. While he wrote the novel, he began to think of the museum and to collect pieces for it. This blurring of lines between the two has been explored both in the novel The Museum of Innocence and in the museum catalogue, The Innocence of Objects.
What is 'new' about the Museum of Innocence?
The museum creates an atmosphere to suit the novel's narrative by showing the objects and images that make up the story. It is both the museum of a fiction, and a little museum of 'Istanbul life in the second half of the 20th century'.
What is the logic behind the collection of objects displayed in the museum?
Pamuk started out by collecting objects from the past that he saw and liked in junk dealers' shops and friends' homes. Then he gradually began to form Kemal and Füsun's story. If at a junk dealer's he saw an object that he thought suited the novel, he bought it and described it in the text. He might stumble upon an object that would inspire a new story in the novel; or he might seek out objects to fit an existing story. The biggest and most authentic object in the museum is the building in which it is housed, where the Keskin family once lived and which was eventually transformed into the museum.
Why did the novelist Pamuk create a museum of this sort?
Pamuk has no straight answer to this question, so similar to that other question which is always asked when a novel is first published: 'Why did you write this book?' One of the answers Pamuk most often gives is: 'Because I love museums.' As he recounts in his autobiographical work Istanbul, Pamuk wanted to become a painter and an architect until, aged 23, he suddenly abandoned both dreams to become instead a novelist, but always harbouring visions of the latent artist within. Pamuk discusses this question in the opening of The Innocence of Objects, the museum's catalogue.