Concretized Realism in Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence


The Museum of Innocence is an innovative postmodern text that fuses the literary world with the material world outside of the text. Orhan Pamuk did this by establishing a physical museum in Istanbul to complement the text after the novel’s publication in 2008. There is a crossover between the novel and the museum through the narrative of objects represented in the novel and the tangible objects on display in the museum. This paper relies on both affect theory and thing theory to argue that a nuanced aspect of realism is created by Pamuk’s novel coined in this paper as “concretized realism”. This paper argues that Pamuk’s novel translates the feelings and emotions of the protagonist, Kemal Bey, through the objects that are described in the text. These emotions and feelings exist outside the realm of language. They are then translated into emotions and feelings within the world of the museum that visitors experience once they enter and observe the objects on display. Pamuk’s novel and its reliance on the cluster of objects in the text suggest that the objects create affective responses in characters, readers, and visitors alike.


Dina Salman, Bayan AlAmmouri


affect theory, concretization, realism, thing theory


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