Scheda libro
Words and Images

Un sogno fatto a Milano

Dialoghi con Orhan Pamuk intorno alla poetica del museo

A cura di Laura Lombardi e Massimiliano Rossi
  • ISBN: 978-88-6010-208-9
  • Year: 2018
  • Pages: 200
  • Size: 16,5 x 24
  • Illustrations: 150 colour
  • Language: Italian
  • Price: 30,00 €

Milan is a city dear to Orhan Pamuk, Nobel prize for literature in 2006 and author of The Museum of Innocence (2008), a novel conceived at exactly the same time as the eponymous museum in Istanbul, opened to the public a few years after the book came out. In both, reality and fiction intertwine in a project that challenges categories and encourages us to question not only relations between writing and reality and between artistic and functional objects, but also the very statute of the artwork and that of its container, the museum. The central focus of the twofold enterprise is the relationship established between word, image and representation, with “image” meaning everything that pertains to the visual realm.

The youthful aspiration of Pamuk to become an artist – with drawings that did not reproduce nature, objects and streets, but the forms of his mind – fuelled the refined visual sensitivity of the author that permeates the entire novel, in which Milan itself plays a significant part. This is the city where the main character Kemal dies, after visiting the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi for the last time, and it was also in Milan, in January 2017, that the Accademia di Brera awarded Pamuk a diploma honoris causa, devoting a conference to him, the contents of which feature in this book. Together with Pamuk’s lectio magistralis, Salvatore Settis’ laudatio and contributions from scholars in different disciplines regarding the Museum of Innocence “operation”, a number of texts by the Turkish writer are presented here on his museum poetics, including a brand new piece inspired precisely by the dialogues of his Milanese days.

The importance and topicality of Pamuk’s ideas, in relation not only to the mose recent museographic and museological conceptions, but also the research of contemporary artists who conceive collections as an art form, are therefore strongly reiterated: his work as a writer and artist is the expression of a precise desire not to tell the “Story”, but to bring “stories” back to life within a vision that is both utopian and real at the same time.

  • About the author
  • Contents

Laura Lombardi, art historian and critic, lectures in the Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, where she curated the days dedicated to Orhan Pamuk in January 2017. She is the author of essays and monographs on 19th-century, 20th-century and contemporary art.


Massimiliano Rossi teaches History of Art Criticism and Museology at the Università del Salento. His main interests include the tradition of artist writers in the early modern era, 16th-century Venetian sculpture, 17th-century Florentine painting and the relationship between royal collecting and images of sovereignty.

Prefazione - Laura Lombardi



Introduzione - Salvatore Settis

Arte e letteratura in tempi difficili - Orhan Pamuk

Modesto manifesto per i musei - Orhan Pamuk

Piccoli musei - Orhan Pamuk



Il museo, gli oggetti, la memoria dei luoghi. Spunti di riflessione per un nuovo modo di raccontare la città - Nadia Barrella

Un museo tutto per sé. Biografie in esposizione - Stefania Zuliani

Ritratto dello scrittore-collezionista: Orhan Pamuk e la nuova “arte delle collezioni” - Thierry Dufrêne

Il museo reale - Elio Grazioli

La visita numero 5723 di Kemal Basmaci: il Museo Bagatti Valsecchidi Milano - Lucia Pini

Storie milanesi di musei e cataloghi. Pensando all’Innocenza degli oggetti - Rossana Sacchi

Istanbul è una donna. Genealogie topiche del “Museo” - Massimiliano Rossi

L’orecchino di Füsun - Daniele Pilla

Orhan Pamuk, Flaubert e gli oggetti estensione dello stato d’animo - Laura Lombardi

Raccogliendo cicche di sigaretta. L’infraordinario diventa opera - Francesco Tedeschi

Tra facts e fiction. La letteratura come costruzione di realtà - Roberto Pinto