Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times–bestselling author of Find Me and Call Me by Your Name returns to the essay form with a collection of thoughts on time, the creative mind, and great lives and works
Irrealis moods are the set of verbal moods that indicate that something is not actually the case or a certain situation or action is not known to have happened...
André Aciman returns to the essay form in Homo Irrealis to explore what the present tense means to artists who cannot grasp the here and now. Irrealis is not about the present, or the past, or the future, but about what might have been but never was —b ut could in theory still happen.
From meditations on subway poetry and the temporal resonances of an empty Italian street, to considerations of the lives and work of Sigmund Freud, Constantine Cavafy, W. G. Sebald, John Sloan, Éric Rohmer, Marcel Proust, and Fernando Pessoa, and portraits of cities such as Alexandria and St. Petersburg, Homo Irrealis is a deep reflection of the imagination’s power to shape our memories under time’s seemingly intractable hold.
“André Aciman is, quite simply, one of the finest essayists of the last hundred years — you’d have to go back much farther, perhaps a visit to Montaigne, to find the combination of elegance, restraint, and longing that Aciman so generously bestows upon his reader." Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Review of Books
About the Author
André Aciman is the author of Find Me, Eight White Nights, Call Me by Your Name, Out of Egypt, False Papers, Alibis, Harvard Square, and Enigma Variations, and is the editor of The Proust Project (all published by FSG). He teaches comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He lives with his wife in Manhattan.