I Love Dick
Distributed for Semiotext(e)
A self-described failed filmmaker falls obsessively in love with her theorist-husband's colleague: a manifesto for a new kind of feminism and the power of first-person narration.
In I Love Dick, published in 1997, Chris Kraus, author of Aliens & Anorexia, Torpor, and Video Green, boldly tore away the veil that separates fiction from reality and privacy from self-expression. It's no wonder that I Love Dick instantly elicited violent controversies and attracted a host of passionate admirers. The story is gripping enough: in 1994 a married, failed independent filmmaker, turning forty, falls in love with a well-known theorist and endeavors to seduce him with the help of her husband. But when the theorist refuses to answer her letters, the husband and wife continue the correspondence for each other instead, imagining the fling the wife wishes to have with Dick. What follows is a breathless pursuit that takes the woman across America and away from her husband and far beyond her original infatuation into a discovery of the transformative power of first person narrative. I Love Dick is a manifesto for a new kind of feminist who isn't afraid to burn through her own narcissism in order to assume responsibility for herself and for all the injustice in world and it's a book you won't put down until the author's final, heroic acts of self-revelation and transformation.
Paperback$15.95 T ISBN: 9781584350347 280 pp. | 9 in x 6 in
For sale only in the US and Canada.
A clever, finely crafted crossover between life, love and cultural studies.
But my favorite example of the genre is from nearly 20 years ago, and it's by a woman. Chris Kraus's 'I Love Dick' offers the story of a woman named Chris Kraus—also an experimental filmmaker, just like the author—reckoning with her unrequited love for 'Dick ____,' a cultural critic with whom she becomes obsessed. The narrative is an exploration of desire as something other than passivity or inadequacy ('I think desire isn't lack, it's surplus energy—a claustrophobia inside your skin') and relentless romantic pursuit not as self-degradation but a kind of generative, creative act.
The New York Times
The most important book about men and women written in the last century.
The intelligence and honesty and total originality of Chris Kraus make her work not just great but indispensable—especially now, when everything is so confusing, so full of despair. I read everything Chris Kraus writes; she softens despair with her brightness, and with incredible humor, too.
author of The Flamethrowers
A little masterpiece of late twenieth century literature.
East Hampton Star
Devastatingly funny and sublime... a new classic.
The Seattle Stranger
Ever since I read I Love Dick, I have revered it as one of the most explosive, revealing, lacerating, and unusual memoirs ever committed to the page... I Love Dick is never a comfortable read, and it is by turns exasperating, horrifying, and lurid, but it is never less than genuine, and often completely illuminating about the life of the mind.
Tart, brazen and funny... a cautionary tale, I Love Dick raises disturbing but compelling questions about female social behavior, power, control.
The biggest art revelation of the year.
The New Zealand Listener