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Kemal Basmaci belongs to Istanbulï¿½s aristocracy. He is the son of one of the wealthiest families in the city. He belongs to the westernized high society of Istanbul, with their opulent clubs and parties, accompanied by society gossip and dining room rituals.Kemal Basmaci belongs to Istanbulï¿½s aristocracy. He is the son of one of the wealthiest families in the city. He belongs to the westernized high society of Istanbul, with their opulent clubs and parties, accompanied by society gossip and dining room rituals.
And then one day, while buying a gift for Sibel, he meets a shop girl, Fusun. She is a distant relation, but lives in an entirely different section of Istanbul. She lives in a place that is like another world altogether.
Kemal is attracted to the young girl and they begin having an affair. When Fusun learns of his engagement, she breaks off their relationship. And soon, so does Sibel.
But Kemal cannot forget Fusun. She and her family have moved from their old house. Kemal tracks them down and tries to keep their relationship alive. But Fusun is married now and she does not let Kemal become as intimate with her as before.
Kemal becomes obsessive about her and starts collecting personal belongings and memorabilia associated with the times they spent together. With the fetish of a truly dedicated collector, he builds a museum of objects that are associated with her.
Eventually, Kemal becomes more obsessed with satisfying his own emotional longing for her rather than having a meaningful relationship with her. He does not want to change his lifestyle for her, but he wants to satisfy his need and desire for her. And this takes the form of the museum that he builds.
This story reflects Istanbul society, a society that is in transition, a city that tries to copy Western lifestyle and fashions, but is still strongly linked to its old cultural identity.
About Orhan Pamuk
Orhan Pamuk is a Nobel Prize winning Turkish author, and a professor at Columbia University, New York.
Some other books by Orhan Pamuk are The Black Book, Silent House, The White Castle, The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist, and My Name is Red.
His novels are often centered around the city of Istanbul and mostly explore a theme of lost identity and the conflicts between Western and Eastern lifestyles.
Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul in 1952. He studied architecture for three years, but later switched to Journalism. He graduated from the University of Istanbul with a degree in Journalism and embarked on a writing career. He started writing even before he finished his degree. He has won a number of awards for his literary works, including the Nobel Prize in 2006, the first time it had been awarded to a Turk. He is currently a Professor at Columbia University, teaching comparative literature and writing.
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