Thursday, September 4, 2008

Great discussion of "Call Me by Your Name"!

Greetings, Colleagues--

Ten valiant Bookmen, a near-record turnout, gathered last night (9/3/08) to discuss Andre Aciman's novel "Call Me by Your Name." There was clearly a wide range of reactions to the work, but I think it would be safe to say that we all found it well worth reading and enjoyed a particularly lively discussion.

As someone who was less impressed by the novel than most of those present (though I did enjoy it), I have been challenged by a fellow reader to cite some passages that I found memorably infelicitous (so bad they're good? :-). I want to take a little time to sort through the many worthy contenders for that distinction before posting a few; but first, in the spirit of fair play, let me share a passage from the final few pages that I thought was truly wonderful:

"I tried to picture his happy family, boys immersed in homework, or lumbering back from late practice, surly, ill-tempered thumping with muddied boots, every cliche racing through my mind. This is the man whose house I stayed in when I lived in Italy, he'd say, followed by grumphy harrumphs from two adolescents who couldn't be bothered by the man from Italy or the house in Italy, but who'd reel in shock if told, Oh, and by the way, this man who was almost your age back then and who spent most of his days quietly transcribing The Seven Last Words of Christ each morning would sneak into my room at night and we'd fuck our brains out. So shake hands and be nice." (p. 243)

Other than correcting "bothered by" to "bothered with," I wouldn't change a word. :-)

Cheers, Steve

1 comment:

Tim said...

Yes, a wonderful passage, which I enjoyed in my reread—but whose "by" escaped me (a real blemish!) ... I'm suddenly anxious about your forthcoming examples.