Brief Biography of André Aciman
André Aciman was born into a multilingual family in Alexandria, Egypt in 1951. Growing up speaking French, Italian, Greek, Judeo-Spanish, and Arabic, Aciman left Egypt with his family in 1965, when it was unsafe for Jewish people to live in the region. After a brief period as refugees in Italy, he, his mother, and his brother moved to New York City in 1968, where Aciman eventually earned a degree in Comparative Literature from Lehman College. Later, he received a PhD in the same field from Harvard. In 1995, he published a memoir entitled Out of Egypt, which garnered wide acclaim. He has also published two essay collections and four novels, including Call Me by Your Name and The Enigma Variations. He is currently Distinguished Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center and lives with his wife in New York City.
Historical Context of Call Me By Your Name
The piazza at the center of the Italian town in which Elio lives with his family boasts a small statute commemorating the soldiers who gave their lives in the Battle of the Piave during the First World War. The Battle of the Piave was fought during the summer of 1918 between the Italian Army and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Despite the fact that the Italians’ victory made a significant impact on the future of the war, most Italians failed to recognize its historical importance. Although Aciman doesn’t specify what town Elio lives in, he lightly infuses the area with this sense of history, mentioning this memorial statue during a scene in which Elio and Oliver finally speak frankly about their feelings for one another. As such, he subtly infuses the setting of Call Me By Your Name with history, suggesting that although Elio and Oliver’s relationship seems all-consuming in the context of their everyday lives, they are not the first people to have undergone transformative experiences in this otherwise sleepy Italian town.
Other Books Related to Call Me By Your Name
Because of its examination of a man embarking on a relationship with another man after presenting himself as a heterosexual, Call Me by Your Name is similar to James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room. Both novels analyze the process of coming to terms with one’s sexual identity, narrating this development using the first-person point of view, which enables both Aciman and Baldwin to usher readers into the experience of exploring new romantic possibilities. Call Me by Your Name is also related to a number of other literary works because of the fact that Elio, Oliver, and Mr. Pearlman are so well-read. As a result, they often discuss the writing of (for example) the German poet Paul Celan, whose poem “Nacths, wenn das Pendel der Liebe schwingt” (“Night, When the Pendulum of Love Swings”) factors into the narrative itself. What’s more, Elio’s father provides a quote from the French writer Michel de Montaigne’s essay “Of Friendship”—a reference that brings itself to bear on how Elio thinks about his relationship with Oliver.
Key Facts about Call Me By Your Name
Full Title: Call Me by Your Name
When Published: 2007
Literary Period: Contemporary
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Realism
Setting: A small town in Northern Italy
Climax: Elio has sex with Oliver for the first time
Antagonist: The inability to accept oneself
Point of View: First-person
Extra Credit for Call Me By Your Name