I love this idea.
Orhan Pamuk, a 2006 Turkish Nobel laureate, has just opened an actual museum in Istanbul whose theme is entirely based on his novel, The Museum of Innocence.
Apart from the merits of the book, what gets my attention here is the fact that a writer of novels has found a novel way to augment his tale in a real world setting – a physical parallel dimension, of sorts, where the story comes to life.
This is way beyond a film or theater adaptation, obviously.
As this article about the museum explains, visitors get to view and interact with some of the significant objects and settings from the book. They’re all organized according to the storyline into 83 displays or vitrines – one for each chapter. As far as Pamuk knows, “this is the first museum based on a novel.” He elaborates: ““But it’s not that I wrote a novel that turned out to be successful and then I thought of a museum. No, I conceived the novel and the museum together.”
Ingenious. Glad he had the resources to make it happen.
Since I’ve been cursed with a brutally hyperactive mind, however, I simply can’t let go of this notion: What if, in addition to replicating the plotline of a novel, a museum (or some sort of other physical space) was also used as a setting where it could be elaborated upon? Beyond the tactile/visual/experiential aspect, this would be like a living sequel. New chapters. New characters. New possibilities. The story would continue living, breathing and developing through rotating displays you could repeatedly visit, ad infinitum.
As a writer, I often ask myself: “Self…when does a story really end?”
In this case, it never would.