Homo Irrealis by Andre Aciman
The bestselling author of Find Me and Call Me by Your Name returns to the essay form with this collection of thoughts on time, the creative mind, and great lives and works. The irrealis mood knows no boundaries between what is and what isn't, between what happened and what won't. In more ways than one, the essay about the artists, writers, and great minds gathered in this volume have nothing to do with who I am, or who they were, and my reading of them may be entirely erroneous. But I misread them the better to read myself. 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, Eric 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.