Call Me By Your Name

by

André Aciman

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Elio Character Analysis

Elio is the novel’s seventeen-year-old narrator and protagonist. The son of intellectuals, Elio himself is an intelligent young man who is bilingual, well-read, and a talented musician. He spends his summers working on classical scores, playing the guitar and piano, reading, swimming with friends, and playing tennis. When he meets Oliver, though, his attraction eclipses his other interests. During Oliver’s stay in his family’s house, Elio tries to spend as much time as possible in the presence of this alluring man. Although he understands he’s attracted to Oliver, it takes time for Elio to decide if he wants anything to happen between them. Soon enough, Elio feels tortured by the idea that his attraction might slip by unnoticed, so he tells Oliver how he feels. In doing so, he shatters the indecision and relational calculations that have been tormenting him for weeks, though even when he and Oliver finally kiss, he isn’t sure what to make of their connection. Similarly, he feels confused after they have sex, ultimately experiencing something like shame even though he’s glad to have acted on his feelings. It doesn’t take long for this shame to dissipate, leaving him with nothing but desire and, eventually, love. All the while, though, Elio knows that to fall in love with Oliver is to invite emotional pain. When Oliver leaves Italy after six weeks, Elio tries—as per his father’s sage advice—to accept and embrace his heartache because doing so is better than feeling “nothing at all.” Twenty years later, Elio feels as if he never thinks about Oliver anymore, but when they get together one last time, he sees this isn’t the case—his relationship with Oliver has colored every romance he’s ever had.

Elio Quotes in Call Me By Your Name

The Call Me By Your Name quotes below are all either spoken by Elio or refer to Elio. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity and Attraction Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Picador edition of Call Me By Your Name published in 2007.
Part 1: If Not Later, When? Quotes

A few hours later, when I remembered that he had just finished writing a book on Heraclitus and that “reading” was probably not an insignificant part of his life, I realized that I needed to perform some clever backpedaling and let him know that my real interests lay right alongside his. What unsettled me, though, was not the fancy footwork needed to redeem myself. It was the unwelcome misgivings with which it finally dawned on me, both then and during our casual conversation by the train tracks, that I had all along, without seeming to, without even admitting it, already been trying—and failing—to win him over.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

Today, the pain, the stoking, the thrill of someone new, the promise of so much bliss hovering a fingertip away, the fumbling around people I might misread and don’t want to lose and must second-guess at every turn, the desperate cunning I bring to everyone I want and crave to be wanted by, the screens I put up as though between me and the world there were not just one but layers of rice-paper sliding doors, the urge to scramble and unscramble what was never really coded in the first place—all these started the summer Oliver came into our house. They are embossed on every song that was a hit that summer, in every novel I read during and after his stay, on anything from the smell of rosemary on hot days to the frantic rattle of the cicadas in the afternoon—smells and sounds I’d grown up with and known every year of my life until then but that had suddenly turned on me and acquired an inflection forever colored by the events of that summer.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

I knew exactly what phrase in the piece must have stirred him the first time, and each time I played it, I was sending it to him as a little gift, because it was really dedicated to him, as a token of something very beautiful in me that would take no genius to figure out and that urged me to throw in an extended cadenza. Just for him.

We were—and he must have recognized the signs long before I did—flirting.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

Perhaps, in this, as with everything else, because I didn’t know how to speak in code, I didn’t know how to speak at all. I felt like a deaf and dumb person who can’t even use sign language. I stammered all manner of things so as not to speak my mind. That was the extent of my code. So long as I had breath to put words in my mouth, I could more or less carry it off. Otherwise, the silence between us would probably give me away—which was why anything, even the most spluttered nonsense, was preferable to silence. Silence would expose me. But what was certain to expose me even more was my struggle to overcome it in front of others.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

I saw his star almost immediately during his first day with us. And from that moment on I knew that what mystified me and made me want to seek out his friendship, without ever hoping to find ways to dislike him, was larger than anything either of us could ever want from the other, larger and therefore better than his soul, my body, or earth itself. Staring at his neck with its star and telltale amulet was like staring at something timeless, ancestral, immortal in me, in him, in both of us, begging to be rekindled and brought back from its millenary sleep.

What baffled me was that he didn’t seem to care or notice that I wore one too. Just as he probably didn’t care or notice each time my eyes wandered along his bathing suit and tried to make out the contour of what made us brothers in the desert.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Related Symbols: The Star of David Necklace
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

What never crossed my mind was that someone else who lived under our roof, who played cards with my mother, ate breakfast and supper at our table, recited the Hebrew blessing on Fridays for the sheer fun of it, slept in one of our beds, used our towels, shared our friends, watched TV with us on rainy days when we sat in the living room with a blanket around us because it got cold and we felt so snug being all together as we listened to the rain patter against the windows—that someone else in my immediate world might like what I liked, want what I wanted, be who I was. It would never have entered my mind because I was still under the illusion that, barring what I’d read in books, inferred from rumors, and overheard in bawdy talk all over, no one my age had ever wanted to be both man and woman—with men and women.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

At my age, [Chiara’s] body was more than ready for him. More than mine? I wondered. She was after him, that much was clear, while all I really wanted was one night with him, just one night—one hour, even—if only to determine whether I wanted him for another night after that. What I didn’t realize was that wanting to test desire is nothing more than a ruse to get what we want without admitting that we want it.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver, Chiara
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

The fear never went away. I woke up to it, watched it turn to joy when I heard him shower in the morning and knew he’d be downstairs with us for breakfast, only to watch it curdle when, rather than have coffee, he would dash through the house and right away set to work in the garden. By noon, the agony of waiting to hear him say anything to me was more than I could bear. I knew that the sofa awaited me in an hour or so. It made me hate myself for feeling so hapless, so thoroughly invisible, so smitten, so callow.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Monet’s Berm Quotes

He stared me right in the face, as though he liked my face and wished to study it and to linger on it, then he touched my nether lip with his finger and let it travel left and right and right and left again and again as I lay there, watching him smile in a way that made me fear anything might happen now and there’d be no turning back, that this was his way of asking, and here was my chance to say no or to say something and play for time, so that I might still debate the matter with myself, now that it had reached this point—except that I didn’t have any time left, because he brought his lips to my mouth, a warm, conciliatory, I’ll-meet-you-halfway-but-no-further kiss till he realized how famished mine was.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

And yet, he had shown me that what I wanted could be given and taken so naturally that one wonders why it needed such hand-wringing torment and shame, seeing it was no more complicated a gesture than, say, buying a pack of cigarettes, or passing a reefer, or stopping by one of the girls behind the piazzetta late at night and, having settled on a price, going upstairs for a few minutes.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:

How I admired people who talked about their vices as though they were distant relatives they’d learned to put up with because they couldn’t quite disown them. That and other things. I don’t care to remember—like I know myself—hinted at a realm of human experience only others had access to, not I. How I wished I could say such a thing one day—that I didn’t care to remember what I’d done at night in full morning glory. I wondered what were the other things that necessitated taking a shower. Did you take a shower to perk yourself up because your system wouldn’t hold up otherwise? Or did you shower to forget, to wash away all traces of last night’s smut and degradation?

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver, Elio’s Father (Mr. Pearlman)
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

“Do I like you, Oliver? I worship you.” There, I’d said it. I wanted the word to startle him and to come like a slap in the face so that it might be instantly followed with the most languorous caresses. What’s liking when we’re talking about worshipping? But I also wanted my verb to carry the persuasive knockout punch with which, not the person who has a crush on us, but their closest friend, takes us aside and says, Look, I think you ought to know, so-and-so worships you. “To worship” seemed to say more than anyone might dare say under the circumstances; but it was the safest, and ultimately murkiest, thing I could come up with. I gave myself credit for getting the truth off my chest, all the while finding a loophole for immediate retreat in case I’d ventured too far.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

I loved her simplicity, her candor. It was in every word she’d spoken to me that night— untrammeled, frank, human—and in the way her hips responded to mine now, without inhibition, without exaggeration, as though the connection between lips and hips in her body was fluid and instantaneous. A kiss on the mouth was not a prelude to a more comprehensive contact, it was already contact in its totality. There was nothing between our bodies but our clothes, which was why I was not caught by surprise when she slipped a hand between us and down into my trousers, and said, “Sei duro, duro, you’re so hard.” And it was her frankness, unfettered and unstrained, that made me harder yet now.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Marzia
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

I couldn’t understand how boldness and sorrow, how you’re so hard and do you really care for me? could be so thoroughly bound together. Nor could I begin to fathom how someone so seemingly vulnerable, hesitant, and eager to confide so many uncertainties about herself could, with one and the same gesture, reach into my pants with unabashed recklessness and hold on to my cock and squeeze it.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Marzia
Page Number: 117
Explanation and Analysis:

Did I want this, now that something was being offered? And was it in fact being offered? And if I wanted or didn’t want it, how would I live out the day till midnight? It was barely ten in the morning: fourteen hours to go . . . The last time I had waited so long for something was for my report card. Or on the Saturday two years ago when a girl had promised we’d meet at the movies and I wasn’t sure she hadn’t forgotten. Half a day watching my entire life being put on hold. How I hated waiting and depending on the whim of others.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:

And yet another part of me knew that if he showed up tonight and I disliked the start of whatever was in store for me, I’d still go through with it, go with it all the way, because better to find out once and for all than to spend the rest of the summer, or my life perhaps, arguing with my body.

I’d make a decision in cold blood. And if he asked, I’d tell him. I’m not sure I want to go ahead with this, but I need to know, and better with you than anyone else. I want to know your body, I want to know how you feel, I want to know you, and through you, me.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

No, I didn’t hate it at all. But what I felt was worse than hate. I didn’t want to remember, didn’t want to think about it. Just put it away. It had never happened. I had tried it and it didn’t work for me, now I wanted my money back, roll back the film, take me back to that moment when I’m almost stepping out onto the balcony barefoot, I’ll go no farther, I’ll sit and stew and never know—better to argue with my body than feel what I was feeling now.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:

It never occurred to me, as I was going through the heady motions of feeling over and done with him and even a tad disappointed that I had so easily recovered after a spell of so many weeks, that this desire to sit and discuss Haydn in so unusually relaxed a manner as we were doing right now was my most vulnerable spot, that if desire had to resurface, it could just as easily sneak in through this very gate, which I’d always assumed the safest, as through the sight of his near-naked body by the swimming pool.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

I saw him pedal down the cypress lane, still wearing my trunks. No one had ever worn my clothes. Perhaps the physical and the metaphorical meanings are clumsy ways of understanding what happens when two beings need, not just to be close together, but to become so totally ductile that each becomes the other. To be who I am because of you. To be who he was because of me. To be in his mouth while he was in mine and no longer know whose it was, his cock or mine, that was in my mouth. He was my secret conduit to myself—like a catalyst that allows us to become who we are […].

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 142
Explanation and Analysis:

I don’t know what happened to me at that moment as I kept staring at him, but suddenly I had a fierce urge to cry. And rather than fight it, as with orgasm, I simply let myself go, if only to show him something equally private about me as well. I reached for him and muffled my sobs against his shoulder. I was crying because no stranger had ever been so kind or gone so far for me, even Anchise, who had cut open my foot once and sucked and spat out and sucked and spat out the scorpion’s venom. I was crying because I’d never known so much gratitude and there was no other way to show it. And I was crying for the evil thoughts I’d nursed against him this morning. And for last night as well, because, for better or worse, I’d never be able to undo it, and now was as good a time as any to show him that he was right, that this wasn’t easy, that fun and games had a way of skidding off course and that if we had rushed into things it was too late to step back from them now— crying because something was happening, and I had no idea what it was.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver, Anchise
Related Symbols: The Peach
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:

This was a time when I intentionally failed to drop bread crumbs for my return journey; instead, I ate them. He could turn out to be a total creep; he could change me or ruin me forever, while time and gossip might ultimately disembowel everything we shared and trim the whole thing down till nothing but fish bones remained. I might miss this day, or I might do far better, but I’d always know that on those afternoons in my bedroom I had held my moment.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: The San Clemente Syndrome Quotes

Perhaps what I liked far more was the evening. Everything about it thrilled me. Every glance that crossed my own came like a compliment, or like an asking and a promise that simply lingered in midair between me and the world around me. I was electrified—by the chaffing, the irony, the glances, the smiles that seemed pleased I existed, by the buoyant air in the shop that graced everything […]

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Ghost Spots Quotes

“You’re too smart not to know how rare, how special, what you two had was.”

“Oliver was Oliver,” I said, as if that summed things up.

“Parce que c’était lui, parce que c’était moi,” my father added, quoting Montaigne’s all-encompassing explanation for his friendship with Etienne de la Boétie.

I was thinking, instead, of Emily Brontë’s words: because “he’s more myself than I am.”

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Elio’s Father (Mr. Pearlman) (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:

In my place, most parents would hope the whole thing goes away, or pray that their sons land on their feet soon enough. But I am not such a parent. In your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out, don’t be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we’d want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!

Related Characters: Elio’s Father (Mr. Pearlman) (speaker), Elio, Oliver
Page Number: 224
Explanation and Analysis:

The very possibility of meeting his family suddenly alarmed me— too real, too sudden, too in-my-face, not rehearsed enough. Over the years I’d lodged him in the permanent past, my pluperfect lover, put him on ice, stuffed him with memories and moth balls like a hunted ornament confabulating with the ghost of all my evenings. I’d dust him off from time to time and then put him back on the mantelpiece. He no longer belonged to earth or to life. All I was likely to discover at this point wasn’t just how distant were the paths we’d taken, it was the measure of loss that was going to strike me— a loss I didn’t mind thinking about in abstract terms but which would hurt when stared at in the face, the way nostalgia hurts long after we’ve stopped thinking of things we’ve lost and may never have cared for.

Related Characters: Elio (speaker), Oliver
Page Number: 233
Explanation and Analysis:
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Elio Character Timeline in Call Me By Your Name

The timeline below shows where the character Elio appears in Call Me By Your Name. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: If Not Later, When?
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Elio has never heard a person use the word “later” to say goodbye. That is, he’s... (full context)
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Each summer, Elio’s parents invite a young academic to “revise a manuscript before publication” while living with them... (full context)
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One afternoon not long after Oliver arrives, Elio notices how soft and pale this man’s skin is on his palms, neck, and the... (full context)
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As they bike to the bank so that Oliver can open an account, Oliver asks Elio what there is to do in B. during the summer. In his responses, Elio tries... (full context)
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Elio tells Oliver he plays tennis, swims, goes out at night, jogs, transcribes music, and reads.... (full context)
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On the way back from the bank, Elio offers to take Oliver to San Giacomo so they can “walk up to the very... (full context)
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In retrospect, Elio wonders how he possibly could not have recognized his attraction to Oliver right from the... (full context)
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In the aftermath of Oliver’s “icy glare,” Elio feels stupid for having “fallen for the skin of his hands, his chest, his feet.”... (full context)
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Without reason or warning, the silence breaks three days later when Oliver asks Elio if he wants to go swimming. Speaking in the present, Elio understands that “the pain,... (full context)
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While playing guitar one day, Elio senses Oliver staring at him. When he looks up, he’s once more met with the... (full context)
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Not long after this interaction, Elio begins to admit to himself that he’d do anything for Oliver because he feels strongly... (full context)
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When Oliver finally does walk into Elio’s bedroom, he asks why he isn’t with the others at the beach, and though he... (full context)
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Elio also wishes he and Oliver could talk about the other night, when Oliver came into... (full context)
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While playing tennis the next day, Oliver throws his arm around Elio during a break and massages his shoulder. Although this is done in a very friendly... (full context)
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After the incident on the tennis court, Elio wonders why he’s so afraid to show Oliver how much he affects him. “Because I... (full context)
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Elio is overcome by Oliver and his billowy blue shirt and the scent of his skin.... (full context)
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On the day Oliver walks into Elio’s room and asks why he didn’t go to the beach with the others, Elio lies... (full context)
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In retrospect, Elio understands that he should have embraced Oliver’s attitude of self-acceptance and simply “shrugged” away any... (full context)
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Every night, Elio lies in bed yearning for Oliver to enter his room. During the day, he sits... (full context)
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...while lying in the orle of paradise—as he calls his poolside perch—Oliver repeats the things Elio says as a response to his questions. When, for example, he asks what he’s thinking... (full context)
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Each day, neighbors and friends visit the house, including Chiara, a girl Elio’s age who was smitten with him last summer but now shows no interest in him.... (full context)
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Everybody loves Oliver. Even Elio’s mother, who claims to dislike his gruff “Americanisms,” finds him charming and affectionately calls him... (full context)
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...“I know myself. If I have three, I’ll have a fourth, and more.” This strikes Elio, for he has never heard anyone say “I know myself,” and the phrase intimidates him. (full context)
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In the coming weeks, Elio senses that Chiara is—like him—“smitten” with Oliver. However, this does nothing to change the way... (full context)
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Elio and his family aren’t the only people vying for Oliver’s time. Indeed, locals invite him... (full context)
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Chiara spends much of her time with Oliver while Elio himself simply yearns for one night together. “Just one night—one hour, even—if only to determine... (full context)
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Watching Chiara and Oliver dance one night in town, Elio tries to convince himself that this is a good thing: now Oliver is taken, and... (full context)
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In the coming days, Oliver and Elio stop talking, and Elio experiences pangs of jealousy as Oliver skips their tennis matches and... (full context)
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In town one night, Oliver walks by with Chiara and sees Elio sitting with friends outside a caffè. Stopping for a moment, Oliver asks what Elio’s doing... (full context)
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In the aftermath of this conversation, Elio is delighted that Oliver—with whom he hasn’t spoken to for several days—has remembered that he... (full context)
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“We almost did it,” Elio tells his father and Oliver the next morning at breakfast. His father asks why they... (full context)
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The summer trudges on, and Elio continues to debate whether or not he wants Oliver to know his true feelings. During... (full context)
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...Vimini start going to the beach together almost every day, where they sit and talk. Elio admits that he’s never “seen a friendship so beautiful or more intense,” though he isn’t... (full context)
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As the days pass, Elio’s parents worry about how much time he spends alone. Waiting for Oliver to turn up,... (full context)
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Elio tries to hide how closely he tracks Oliver’s movement, but it’s difficult to conceal his... (full context)
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When no one is home one afternoon, Elio sneaks into Oliver’s room and finds his red swimsuit hanging in the closet. Before knowing... (full context)
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One night Elio goes into his father’s library and reads an old fairytale about “a handsome young knight... (full context)
Part 2: Monet’s Berm
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...fact, Oliver has started having a number of flings with women all over town, prompting Elio to wonder every morning where he was the night before. Staring at Oliver sitting in... (full context)
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In the garden one day, Elio tells Oliver about the old fairytale, and he asks if the knight speaks or dies.... (full context)
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Once they get their bikes, Elio asks Oliver if he thinks Anchise is creepy, which is the prevailing opinion around the... (full context)
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“Is there anything you don’t know?” Oliver asks. Elio stares at him and realizes this is his moment to reveal his feelings. “I know... (full context)
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“Do you know what you’re saying?” Oliver asks. “Yes,” Elio says, “I know what I’m saying and you’re not mistaking any of it. I’m just... (full context)
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“I wish I hadn’t spoken,” Elio says while biking home. “I’m going to pretend you never did,” Oliver replies, and when... (full context)
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“This is my spot,” Elio tells Oliver, saying he comes here to read. “Do you like being alone?” Oliver asks,... (full context)
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Oliver tells Elio that he’s “the luckiest kid in the world,” but Elio maintains that “so much of... (full context)
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...of. Let’s keep it that way. I want to be good.” Despite this sentiment, though, Elio says, “Don’t be. I don’t care. Who is to know?” He then places his hand... (full context)
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“We’ll never speak again,” Elio says on the bike ride home. “We’ll chitchat. Chitchat, chitchat. That’s all. And the funny... (full context)
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Elio escapes upstairs with his bloody nose, telling his body not to “give the whole thing... (full context)
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Lying in his room, Elio fantasizes about telling Oliver straightforwardly that he wants to be “taken” by him, even if... (full context)
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...periodically thinks Oliver has entered his room only to discover that no one is there, Elio is silent at breakfast. Mr. Pearlman asks Oliver if he drank a lot the night... (full context)
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...kind and calm, eating with the family and going to bed early. The next morning, Elio finds him working hard by the time he himself is awake, and though he doesn’t... (full context)
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Oliver agrees to go into B. with Elio on the condition that he make “no speeches.” In the town bookstore, Elio picks up... (full context)
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The night before this outing to the bookstore, Elio had a dream in which he was having sex with Oliver and looking into his... (full context)
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When Oliver and Elio return, Oliver is quiet and unresponsive, shutting himself into his room for the night. Unable... (full context)
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As he plays dumb, Elio realizes that he’s “ignoring” Marzia’s signals so as to “draw her out.” He then understands... (full context)
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Elio lets go of his own bike and leans into Marzia, his hands moving up her... (full context)
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Even as Elio kisses Marzia, he finds himself composing a note that he later leaves in Oliver’s room.... (full context)
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In the afternoon, Elio plays tennis with Marzia. Later, they have sex in his bedroom with the shutters closed... (full context)
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After dinner, Elio goes upstairs and tries to imagine what kind of person he’ll be the next time... (full context)
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Sitting on his bed, Elio imagines his grandfather’s voice telling him not to go through with his plan. “I was... (full context)
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When the time comes, Elio enters Oliver’s room and watches him move about awkwardly as he assures him how glad... (full context)
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“We haven’t talked,” Oliver says, but Elio only shrugs. “Can I kiss you?” he asks, lifting Elio’s face. Without answering him, Elio... (full context)
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“When it happened,” Elio writes, “it happened not as I’d dreamed it would, but with a degree of discomfort... (full context)
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Elio realizes his dream was accurate: having sex with Oliver is “like coming home.” And this... (full context)
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After making love, Elio wonders if they made too much noise, thinking he might even have “sobbed” a little.... (full context)
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Feeling as if he’s just woken up from a nightmare, Elio wonders how he possibly let Oliver do to him what he did. “I would never... (full context)
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After a moment, Oliver tells Elio he can go to sleep, so he closes his eyes and wishes he were far,... (full context)
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Very early in the morning, Elio and Oliver go swimming, and Elio thinks this is the last time they’ll be “together... (full context)
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When they reach the house and go upstairs, Elio goes to his room and is surprised when Oliver follows him. “Take your trunks off,”... (full context)
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At breakfast, Oliver is wearing Elio’s bathing suit, which Elio thinks is “an unbearable turn-on.” Later in the day, he suddenly... (full context)
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Just before Oliver enters the post office, Elio comes up behind him and whispers, “Fuck me, Elio,” in his ear. “He remembered and... (full context)
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On his way home, Elio stops at Marzia’s house and joins her as she goes to the beach. Elated, he... (full context)
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Elio goes home for lunch and has two glasses of wine, which make him pleasantly sleepy.... (full context)
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Unable to shake the idea from his mind, Elio gets up and takes one of the peaches, presses his thumbs into it, and pushes... (full context)
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Oliver lowers his mouth to Elio’s penis and finds the “sticky taste” of the peach. Elio tells him what he did... (full context)
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Oliver tells Elio that he wanted him “from day one” but that he simply “hid it better.” Hearing... (full context)
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Elio breaks down crying. “And rather than fight it,” he writes, “as with orgasm, I simply... (full context)
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That night, Elio and Marzia go to the movies and make plans to go to the bookstore the... (full context)
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The next morning, Elio opens Oliver’s soft-boiled eggs, taking Mafalda’s job and surprising everyone at the table. In particular,... (full context)
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...none of it, not the risks, not the shame, not the total lack of foresight,” Elio writes. Although he knows summer is drawing to a close, he does nothing to slow... (full context)
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Giddy with excitement, Elio packs and tries not to think about how short three days really is. He decides... (full context)
Part 3: The San Clemente Syndrome
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When Elio and Oliver arrive in their hotel room, there is a note from Oliver’s publisher inviting... (full context)
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Later, Elio and Oliver prepare to take a shower together. After Oliver takes a bowel movement, Elio... (full context)
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Walking to the bookstore, Elio and Oliver pass a “human statue of Dante” who recites lines from The Inferno when... (full context)
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On the way to the bookstore, Elio and Oliver pass a significant landmark: the place where Elio first intuited his attraction to... (full context)
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...reaching the bookstore, Oliver steps aside to make “a quick local phone call” and tells Elio he’ll meet him inside. Nervously, Elio enters to find the entire two-story shop crowded with... (full context)
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...leave the poor boy alone, will you?” says a woman who swoops in and grabs Elio’s hand and whisks him away, casting a derisive yet affectionate remark in Alfredo’s (the poet’s)... (full context)
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...Welcome, welcome. One of the youngest, most talented American philosophers, accompanied by my lovely daughters.” Elio notes that the two women flanking Oliver are stunningly gorgeous. “Such babes, aren’t they?” Lucia... (full context)
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Oliver looks at Elio as if to ask if he liked Alfredo’s poems, and Elio shrugs in a way... (full context)
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...endless time in Thailand, though he ultimately finished the piece in Rome. After the reading, Elio and Oliver go with Alfredo, Lucia, and their many friends to dinner at a trattoria,... (full context)
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...the group goes to a bar, where they drink long past closing. Later, Oliver and Elio walk drunkenly through the streets. Overcome by the alcohol he’s had, Elio feels sick, so... (full context)
Part 4: Ghost Spots
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Anchise picks Elio up at the train station in B. and asks him if “Signor Ulliva” has left.... (full context)
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Elio goes upstairs and sleeps, thinking there will be “plenty of time for mourning.” And yet,... (full context)
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Elio rises from his nap in the evening and goes downstairs, where he finds Vimini. They... (full context)
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After dinner that night, Oliver calls and tells Elio he has arrived safely in New York. Their conversation is sad and somewhat stilted, though... (full context)
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Downstairs, Elio sits with his father, who asks about his trip. Throughout the conversation, Mr. Pearlman’s questions... (full context)
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...with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!” Elio is shocked to hear this, but he doesn’t pretend his father is imagining things. “I... (full context)
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Oliver returns over Christmas but doesn’t treat Elio with the same kind of open passion as before. Just when Elio thinks they may... (full context)
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Oliver gets married the next summer. Elio writes him a letter when Vimini dies, but by the time Oliver—who’s traveling when he... (full context)
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After another four years, Elio finds himself passing through the New England town in which Oliver teaches. As such, he... (full context)
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Oliver and Elio walk to Oliver’s office together. On the way, Oliver stops to introduce him to his... (full context)
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Elio tells Oliver, “You are the only person I’d like to say goodbye to when I... (full context)
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“Last summer he finally did come back,” Elio writes, explaining that Oliver returns to B. for one night on his way through Italy.... (full context)
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...single day. Then one day she stopped writing.” Soon conversation turns to Mr. Pearlman, and Elio shows Oliver the garden where they buried some of his ashes. “I call it his... (full context)
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Elio says he’s going to take Oliver to the belfry in San Giacomo before lunch. When... (full context)