Pamuk denied treading the same philosophical ground as French writer Marcel Proust, who, in “Remembrance of Things Past,” explored the triggering of memory through a madeleine, a small French cake.
“Proust has his madeleine, based on involuntary memories,” he explained. “My Kemal is not a Proustian because he deliberately wants to remember. Kemal is a self-conscious Proustian.”
I find very familiar this attidude to accumulate things.
Used objects, old tickets, postcards, dummies, cloths,shoes, small tiny ornaments...mundane but poignant objects. Why?
First of all, It is possible divide these in different categories:
found objects: lost objects, belonged to someone else, that have been used, “lived”, considered rubbish for a while, but that for some reason become valuable again.
This is the case specially for dummies. I think that objects that have been related to children are extraordinary powerful as charm, because they represent innocence, and they are imbibed with their purity somehow.
used objects: this include a wide range of items. Shoes, necklaces, can be anything that is fascinating for some reason, like for example a bottle rack with the shape of shoe...a perfect sculpture, how I could resist?
These gadget come from antiques or vintage market, or charity shops,car boots sale, all that you buy on purpose.
personal objects: They can be postcards, tickets of any kind or events, (from Royal Albert Hall to underground),shoes,small figures, ornaments, pictures (but we can arrange these in an other huge category that is the phographical archive),charms, tiny bottles, boxes, dolls ...therefore everything that contain a personal memory, or emotion linked to it.
Mentioning the Museum of Innocence, I could add a fourth category: Objects belonged to someone who has been very important in your life, specially someone you loved or you still love ( past loves, present memory...past memory, present love almost a contraddiction?).
All these collections , whatever they are, occupy space, they pretend space, and time to organise them. To be satisfying they have to be clearly catalogued, you have to create an archive, where you can enjoy their company whenever you need to.
(if yout not just a serial accumulator but that is an other story).
They became talisman of live vivrant past, they still contain that feelings, they are a tangible proof of a lifetime, and so through them you can remember, and do not forget.
Because I think that one of the reason of collecting is the fear to forgot and to be forgotten, to vanish, to disappear in the sands of times, in the incessant flow of time.
I think they hide a great anxiety.
They can give a sense of relief,and also the idea (or the illusion) of control over a past you already know and is something solid on which to build your life, and something that can drive away the fear of unknown, of abandon, of death.