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There is no Frigate like a Book - Emily Dickinson

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman (professor at the Graduate Center of City University of New York) was first published in 2007 and has recently seen a major surge in popularity thanks to the release of the transcendent film of the same name.

Rarely is a film able to hold ground with its literary counterpart, but in this case both the novel and the film are each legends of their own merit.  Both complementary and independent, the novel and film are lovingly intertwined both offering their own insight and emotions serving only to augment and not detract from the other. 

The novel, a Proustian styled romance as told from the recollections of its main character Elio, unguardedly recounts the events of Elio’s first love during an Italian summer some 20 years prior.  Aciman transports and immerses the reader into the emotional and tender realm of the awakenings of a boy on the cusp of becoming a man struggling with identity, desire, love and loathing. 

The film, expertly directed by Luca Gaudagnino with a screenplay by James Ivory, is a slow-burning, emotive visualization of the angst of first love.  The outstanding performances of Timothée Chalamet (Elio Perlman), Armie Hammer (Oliver) and Michael Stuhlbarg (Elio’s father) only lend further depth to the rich tapestry of the emotional longing and turmoil laid out in the source novel.

 

Experience the novel, the film or both.  As Elio confirms while trying to rationalize his sexual feelings, “We are not written for one instrument alone; I am not, and neither are you.”, and neither is this this story.

Film Trailer

"A New York Times Notable Book of the Year • A Publishers Weekly and The Washington Post Best Book of the Year • A New York Magazine "Future Canon" Selection • A Chicago Tribune and Seattle Times (Michael Upchurch's) Favorite Favorite Book of the Year."

Click here to read an excerpt of André Aciman's best-selling novel.

 

Book Reviews and Literary Analyses

The following is a collection relevant reviews, critiques and analyses of the novel. Click on them to see the industry's take on the book.

Reviews:

Analyses:

Reflective Journal Questions

Reading this novel can be a powerful transcendent experience filling you with emotions and leaving you with questions.  Getting a handle on your thoughts can be a difficult thing, “But to feel nothing as to not feel anything—what a waste!” p. 224.

Use the questions in this document as a starter in the examination of the novel and yourself.

Download the 2-page PDF document here.

Or

download the writing journal below by clicking here.

Alternative "Book Report" Ideas

 

 

To Do With Books. If you're looking for something other than a book report that will still impress your teacher, here are 30 alternative and engaging book activities.

Click here for the "To-do-with Books page.

Quote Scavenger Hunt

No doubt this novel is filled with some extremely insightful and poignant quotes.  In this activity, find some of the passages or quotes in the novel that you feel best represent the themes listed in the activity.  

"I suddenly realized that we were on borrowed time, that all time is borrowed and that the lending agency always exacts its premium precisely when we are least prepared to pay and need to borrow more." p.162

If you found your absolute favorite quote or quotes, share it or them in the Padlet below.

Audio Book

Here is the audio book from YouTube, for as long as it lasts... it might well be taken down soon.

  • ~0:42 part one: If Not Later, When?
  • ~2:00:20 part two: Monet's Berm
  • ~5:18:13 part three: The San Clemente Syndrome
  • ~6:31:55 part four: Ghost Spots

Vocabulary

pre-coquere -> praecoquum - > prekokkia -> al-birquq -> Abricot/apricot (precocious, apricate)

The novel is adorned with rich and sometimes allusional vocabulary that will enhance the language of all levels of readers.

Learn the vocabulary of the novel with these fun exercises from Quizlet.

Part 1: If Not Later, When? (Direct link | Glossary)

Part 2: Monet's Berm (Direct link | Glossary)

Part 3: The San Clemente Syndrome (Direct link | Glossary)

Part 4: Ghost Spots (Direct link | Glossary)

Works and Literary References Mentioned in the Novel

Do you know the story of Armance by Stendhal? The significance of the Maginot Line that Elio figuratively creates on the balcony separating his and Oliver's bedroom?  The philosophy of Heraclitus?  As you may have noticed the novel is loaded with references to philosophy, literature, history, music, art and language.  But what does it all mean?  What relation do they have to the story? Why has André Aciman included these references in his novel?  Let the investigation begin! 

Click on this link to find a list of only some of the enriching references made in the novel.

Click here to download this list in PDF.

Film Review Activity

Write up a simple film review.  Click on the links below for documents to help you get started.

Film Reviews and Analyses

Reviews:

Analyses:

 Call Me by Your Name
(2017) on IMDb

Script

Take a peak at the final film script by James Ivory.

Musical Soundtrack

Two original songs were written for the film by Sufjan Stevens, "Mystery of Love" and "Visions of Gideon".  Stunning additions that mirror and enhance the mood of the story.  You can practice your English while listening to these songs on Lyricstraining.com.

Click here for "The Mystery of Love"   Click here for "Visions of Gideon"

Journaling

Sweet summer.  “We had found the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.” p.244. What stars have you found? Here are 3 journaling ideas so you don't forget those stars.

Something to think or write about

The emotional impact of this story makes it ideal to explore our emotions and philosophy of love and life.  Consolidated here are 3 journal activities designed to help you respond to this masterpiece.

Deep

Here are 3 questions to explore in your journal after you've read the novel or seen the film.

Deeper

Deeper questions for you to ponder in your journal. Use these after reading the novel.

Deepest

This journaling activity is designed for you to capture your thoughts while reading the novel.

You can start with the first one, then if you want to explore more, try the second or third.

Quotes

Post your favorite quotes from the novel or film here.

Made with Padlet

Book and Film Poll

Film Beat! If you're a fangirl or fanboy of the film and everything with it, keep up-to-date with all the happenings on the YouTube Call Me By Your Name topic channel.

Keep up-to-date with the all the news of the novel, the film and the people that made both possible. If you need a writing exercise, make a reading log entry for all of the articles you've read.

For the feels ...

Comments

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