Temporary Paradise: Queer Time, Space, and Pastoral Visions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Sixteenth-century writer, George Puttenham, was among the first critics of the pastoral literary tradition. In Art of English Poesy (1589), he defines the pastoral’s (or eclogue’s) purpose “to contain and inform moral discipline” and amend “man’s behaviour” at the same time as commenting on the socio-political concerns of its day. Centuries on, numerous artists, writers and filmmakers have reclaimed the pastoral genre in queer terms as a space for homosexual love and as a challenge to heteronormativity within literary modes. The chapter analyses how Call Me By Your Name visualises a queer pastoral space and time for its characters to explore gay love. Drawing on the writing of critical theorists and extensive textual analysis of key scenes, it identifies key features of the pastoral form within the film. These include an Arcadian setting, narrative movements of retreats and returns, and nostalgia for a lost past. With this in place, the chapter explores how the film uses pastoral conventions to construct a nostalgic or idyllic view of gay romance. Set in an unspecified location in Northern Italy, it asks to what extent the film deliberately uses utopian discourses to suggest the relative im/possibilities of queer love? The final section links to how the film relates to queer time through its veiled references to the AIDS crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCall Me By Your Name: Perspectives on the Film
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 May 2023

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