Call Me By Your Name

by

André Aciman

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The Poet (Alfredo) Character Analysis

A poet Elio first meets in a bookstore in B. while on a date with Marzia. Wandering into the store, they learn that a book release party has just finished, so Elio buys two copies of the book, which is called Se l’amore, or If Love. “Is it good?” he asks the poet, not knowing he’s the author. “Pure junk,” Alfredo replies. “I should know. I wrote it.” Alfredo then signs Elio and Marzia’s copies, though he says, “I’m not sure this book is for you, but…” Strangely enough, Elio encounters Alfredo again several weeks later, this time in Rome. Having been invited to a reading by Oliver’s publisher, the two lovers go to a bookstore only to find out that the reading is for Alfredo’s collection of poetry. Alfredo reads a poem called “The San Clemente Syndrome” because Elio tells him it’s his favorite in the book. Later, Oliver and Elio go out for a wild night of drinking and lavish eating with Alfredo and his many friends, and Alfredo tells a long story about the genesis of “The San Clemente Syndrome,” which he frames as a poem about desire and homesickness.
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The Poet (Alfredo) Character Timeline in Call Me By Your Name

The timeline below shows where the character The Poet (Alfredo) appears in Call Me By Your Name. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Monet’s Berm
Identity and Attraction Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...him to B. In town they eat ice cream and visit the bookstore, where a poet has just released his new collection, Se l’amore (If Love). Elio buys two copies—one for... (full context)
Part 3: The San Clemente Syndrome
Coming of Age and Maturity Theme Icon
...the author of Se l’amore and realizes that this party is for him. As the poet walks by, Elio shakes his hand and tells him how much he liked his poems.... (full context)
Identity and Attraction Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Maturity Theme Icon
...and grabs Elio’s hand and whisks him away, casting a derisive yet affectionate remark in Alfredo’s (the poet’s) direction as she goes. This woman, whose name is Lucia, doesn’t let go... (full context)
Pain, Heartbreak, and Regret Theme Icon
Time and Anticipation Theme Icon
Alfredo finally begins, explaining that Se l’amore came out of “a season in Thailand teaching Dante.”... (full context)
Identity and Attraction Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Maturity Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Oliver looks at Elio as if to ask if he liked Alfredo’s poems, and Elio shrugs in a way that he hopes seems indifferent even though in... (full context)
Identity and Attraction Theme Icon
Pain, Heartbreak, and Regret Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Maturity Theme Icon
Time and Anticipation Theme Icon
Resuming the reading, Alfredo reads “The San Clemente Syndrome,” though not without first prefacing it by saying that he’s... (full context)
Pain, Heartbreak, and Regret Theme Icon
Time and Anticipation Theme Icon
Alfredo speaks about the nature of travel, saying that no place is ever what one expects... (full context)