Some of my favourite moments from Call Me by Your Name (the novel) Part 2
1. Flirting over Bach. While Elio plays Bach on the guitar, Oliver has a “cutting” and “cruel” look on his face. Wounded, Elio stops playing. Oliver begs him to continue, but Elio teases him by switching to piano and changing the piece, refusing to play it as he played it before until he finally acquiesces:
“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 talk a lot about Elio’s thirst but he is a true romantic!
2. While Oliver was dating Chiara he and group of friends decide to go for a bike ride. They are one bike short so Oliver asks Elio if Mario can borrow his:
“I shrugged my shoulders, meaning, Go ahead, I couldn’t care less. But no sooner had they left than I scrambled upstairs and began sobbing into my pillow.”
3. Basically all of Monet’s Berm, but especially when Elio puts his hand on Oliver’s crotch and Oliver removes it in a gesture that’s described as “quite glacial”.
I see you Oliver ;)
“He likes you too—more than you do, I think.”
Captain of our ship!
5. When Elio takes Oliver to the bookshop and thinks:
“This is where I dreamed of you before you came into my life.”
My romantic son.
6. Vulnerable Oliver. As much as I love Elio’s teen angst, Oliver’s longing has a quiet pain that is very moving. The first night they sleep together he is “fussing awkwardly”:
“ ‘I’m so glad you came,’ he said. ‘I could hear you moving in your room and for a while I thought you were getting ready to go to bed and had changed your mind.’ ”
And later when he asks, “Can I kiss you?”
7. Oliver taking off Elio’s clothes:
“He was whispering, ‘Off, and off, and off, and off,’ which made me laugh…”
Cute, and cute, and cute, and cute.
8. Elio seeing Oliver wearing his bathing suit and calling it an “unbearable turn-on” which somehow leads him to the memory of Oliver coming on his chest… Have I mentioned that I love this book?
9. The entire peach scene might be the most human thing I have ever read, but especially Elio’s reaction while Oliver is actually eating the peach:
“I was crying because no stranger has ever been so kind or gone so far for me…”
10. In Rome when Elio begins to contemplate life without Oliver:
“Would I be able to live without his hand on my tummy or around my hips? Without kissing and licking a wound on his hip that would take weeks to heal, but away from me now? Whom else would I ever be able to call by my name?”
I’m in agony.
11. Elio’s dad ripping out what’s left of my heart and handing it back to me:
“I never had what you had. Something always held me back or stood in the way. How you live your life is your business. But remember our hearts and bodies are given to us only once… I don’t envy the pain. But I envy you the pain.”
12. Oliver’s Christmas visit:
“I’d love nothing better than to take your clothes off and at the very least hold you. But I can’t.”
13. And when they meet again years later:
“…he was more me than I had ever been myself, because when he became me and I became him in bed so many years ago, he was and would forever remain, long after every forked road in life had done its work, my brother, my friend, my father, my son, my husband, my lover, myself.”
Congratulations, you broke me.