Shadows of shadows Everything is done in memory of something else Nothing is seen but rather imagined The idea of a thing is real than the thing itself Perpetuity is the essential uality of longing it cannot be satisfied fulfilled by definition Many of the essays feature Aciman going in search of something a historical site or a relic from his past and failing to find it finding only himself instead which is what he sought from the beginning The essays are shot through with a variously implicit and explicit loneliness and search for love which it strikes me are characterized by the amorphous discontinuous ualities Aciman also locates in memory time etcAnd Aciman always contains his own negation he acknowledges that his central obsession the idea of other better selves may be the most convincing and deceptive mirage of all All this deferring and earning may be for naught What reader doesn t entertain this notion with some degree of regularity But the sheer poignancy of Aciman s essays diminish this doubt inasmuch as it can be diminished We seldom ever see or read or love things as they in themselves really are nor for that matter do we even know our impressions of them as they really arewhat we reach for and what ultimately touches us is the radiance we ve projected on things not the things themselves Intimacy pg 33 And et it is the city I m reaching out for not people the city I long to encounter and hold for a whileThe secret language of cities and how even sidewalks like Sirens can lure us and speak to usCummings Camus the miracle of intimacy with a place that may be in us than it is ever out there on the pavement because there may be of us projected on every one of its streets than there is of the city itselfThis longing goes out to the city and from the city comes back to us
Call It Narcissism Or it narcissism Or it passionthe remanence of our presence our lingering afterimage on this city the best in us did I step into an iridescent hot spot where time stopped and I was one with myself and this citythis buildingbehind which lurks the imprint of a life unlived awaiting usAbove all do not take me away New York Luminous The flap copy of Alibis describes it as a series of linked essays about time place identity and art which probably sums it up succinctly than I could Aciman writes beautifully about places about cities He writes about Venice about Paris about Tuscany about Barcelona He writes about Rome where he lived for three ears as a teenager he and his parents were refugees from Alexandria waiting for their visas to America He writes about New York where he lives now But he s not only writing about place as place about what makes Rome different from Venice and different from Paris though he captures that too the different sights and sounds and ualities of light of a given city He s writing about these places and his experiences of them and his memories of them as a way to explore the experience of living in the world and specifically the experience of living in the world while also feeling a certain disconnect from it Aciman is in many ways a reader s writer and a writer s writer he writes a lot about the experiences of reading and writing and what reading and writing aredo whether for example writing is a way to fully experience the world or a way to avoid experiencing it In an essay called Temporizing Aciman writes about Proust and #how memory and wishful thinking are filters through which he registers processes and understands present experience experience is # memory and wishful thinking are filters through which he registers processes and understands present experience experience is it is not even experience unless it comes as the memory of experience or which amounts to the same as the memory of unrealized experience 68 I like Aciman s thoughts on his own temporizing tendencies and I like too his concern with memory and the multiplicity of selves and the multiplicity of possible selves who we could have been if things had just been a little different. And New York; to his sheer ability to unearth life secrets from an ordinary street corner Alibis reminds the reader that Aciman is a master of the personal essa.
St of us don t move to Paris Mr Aciman I sympathizeAm I just envious I don t know I sound like I am a bit don t I I was thinking maybe I just resent reading about a man who s biggest problem is that he thinks he may have given erroneous directions to his gondolier in Venice but doesn t want to sacrifice his cool he may have given erroneous directions to his gondolier in Venice but doesn t want to sacrifice his cool enough to fix it There s probably some element of that But I think its really about the purpose of these essays as contrasted to their presentation This is a book about the reflections of a middle aged man on the delicate nostalgia of his outh and the nuances and fleeting moments of meaning he seems to grab between plane flights and dinners on the Riveria This is NOT a Fantasia of passions and European landscapes It s about him Which I thought would be fine after the first essay I was even okay with that one about his childhood in Rome as a kid who loved books and was too shy to talk to girls But the rest of it where he tries to pretend that it is about travel that s a problem because I think he gets what is important about travel wrong I think he misses the good stuff I do not care whether ou went swimming at noon while tourists were out seeing things in Venice thus making The Sceptics of the Old Testament you like the native people who don t have to sightsee Why on earth wouldou choose staying at Reinventing the CFO How Financial Managers Can Transform Their Roles and Add Greater Value your hotel and swimming to tell me about whenou are in Venice unless it was about how cool Violin Fingering It's Theory and Practice Da Capo Press music reprint series you are thatou don t have to go see Venice Lot of performance that I have no patience with The priorities were off here and I did not like itI don t know I might revisit it later and try again from Intimacy I was after something intimate and I learned to spot it in the first alley in the first verse of a poem on the first glance of a stranger Great books like great cities always let us find things we think are only in us and couldn t possibly belong elsewhere but that turn out to be broadcast everywhere we look Great artists are those who give us what we think was already ours In the words of Emanuele Tesauro We enjoy seeing our own thoughts blossom in someone s mind while that someone is eually pleased to spy what our own mind furtively conceals I was a cipher But like me everyone else was a cipher as well On Monet He is not even sure he s not making it up Which is also why he needs to paint it What he was after hangs between the visible and the invisible between the here and now and the seemingly elsewhereThis is Aciman s project his compulsion to make material these wisps of feelings impressions the space between places and thingsAlibis is fundamentally a book about longing infinitely displaced longing for lives not lived past lovers abandoned cities with the recurrent suggestion that all longing is about itself and the self Aciman lives in an agonizingly evocative world where any sight or sound can trigger an unending stream of associations and memories No wonder that the first essay is about scents It perfectly augurs all of the book s concernsAciman understands that there is something about being a reader that prevents one from living in the present that inescapable awareness of other times and places such that they come to exist
congruent and contemporaneous with one s own which loses all meaning and force in contrast the tiny arbitrary fulcrum againstand contemporaneous with one s own which loses all meaning and force in contrast the tiny arbitrary fulcrum against balance the weights of the past and future I cannot think of a appropriate title than Alibis All through the book Aciman is saying I couldn t have been here experiencing my own life for I was really there And what of the subtitle Essays on Elsewhere Elsewhere with respect to where With respect to everywhere wherever one is Fitting that Aciman writes of himself as an exile one who is always in one place but elsewhere as well conseuently in neither place beyond the idea of placeAciman is never where he is He remembers remembering he looks back to looking ahead looks ahead to looking back nothing is solid merely. T show him at his very finest From beautiful and moving pieces about the memory evoked by the scent of lavender; to meditations on cities like Barcelona Rome Paris. I was going to give this book away I had read the first essay Lavender This I thought was Aciman in his reputed Proust like mode Nice but who has time I haven t read ProustToday I picked the book up again and got a whiff
of lavender i don t have synesthesia orlavender I don t have synesthesia or t used to I read one essay It moved meBooks for when one is lonely or out of sorts or sync Nonfiction Essay Travel Trade Paperback Found after reading Call Me By My Name by same author In his novel Eight White Nights Andre Aciman s narrator says longing makes us who we are makes us better than who we are because longing fills the heart The way absence and sorrow and mourning fill the heart In the same way the highly personal essays in Alibis explore the world of the author s memory It is not the things we long for that we love it is longing itself just as it is not what we remember but remembrance itself that we love In the essays of Alibis the auth Read for the ReadHarder challenge 8 Read a travel memoir Not our usual travel memoir this is a gorgeously written collection of essays on place and identity I loved how personal each essay was each meditation sharing intimate musings so specific so evocative To open this book is to plunge with Aciman as he dreamily deeply reflects on his very personal thoughts It s a dive to all his
Longings Overall It HasOverall it has pensive toneThere would be minutes during his recollection that the reader could feel alienated or short of patience given that not every experience one had in life could be related to by others Nonetheless one could still pick up on these essays and share private musings that one may happen to likewise haveHere are my favorites I like not knowing Knowing anything about the painting would most likely undo its spell he liked painting this town than he loved the town itself because what he loved was in him than in the town itself though he needed the town to draw it out of him I ve come for something I know doesn t exist For artists seldom teach us to see better They teach us to see other than what s there to be seen We seldom ever see or read or love things as they in themselves really are nor for that matter do we even know our impressions of them as they really are What matters is knowing what we see when we see other than what lies before us It is the film we see the film that breathes essence into otherwise lifeless objects the film We Crave To Share With Others What We Reach For crave to share with others What we reach for what ultimately touches us is the radiance we ve projected on things not the things themselves the envelope not the letter the wrapping not the gift Rating 355 Oh I can t I m so sorry Mr Aciman but I just cannot sit with ou right now Your world is not mine and ou make absolutely no effort to welcome me to it You must understand that I want nothing than do let ou guide me but پرسش های نخستین پاسخ های بی پایان you don t want to do that You want to tell me about how pleasedou are that Ska you are in this world andou are not interested in relating to anyone who is not already inside it Aside from the first essay about lavender in which I found something true enough to make me want to keep reading this was a book of status symbols disguised as travel essays Even his essay on Monet and his love for a particular painting which I love essays about peoples obsession with art even that was really about how he had a better travel experience than The Gods Themselves you He could speak the language and met Real People who led him coincidentally to what he wanted Complete with musings about how all travel should be random and spontaneous to truly fulfill us He wrote about the Place des Vosges in Paris and name dropped some of my favorite French historical figures but the real point of the essay was the fact that he was in Paris and knew things thatou didn t He would move to Paris ou know but there is just no TIME for that in his busy life of writing essays at ritzy resorts and traveling Yes that s why mo. Celebrated as one of the most poignant stylists of his generation André Aciman has written a luminous series of linked essays about time place identity and art tha.