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 it’s literary counterpart, but in this case both the novel and the film are each legends of their own merit. Both complimentary 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 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.
"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."
Reading this novel can be a powerful transcendent experience filling you with emotions and leaving you 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.
Write up a simple film review. Click on the links below for documents to help you get started.
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"
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.
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.
Here are 3 questions to explore in your journal after you've read the novel or seen the film.
Deeper questions for you to ponder in your journal. Use these after reading the novel.
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.
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.