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I Love Dick (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents) Paperback – July 14, 2006
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A clever, finely crafted crossover between life, love and cultural studies.(The Australian)
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 Guardian)
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.(Rachel Kushner, 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.(Post Road)
Tart, brazen and funny... a cautionary tale, I Love Dick raises disturbing but compelling questions about female social behavior, power, control.(The Nation)
The biggest art revelation of the year.(The New Zealand Listener)
About the Author
Chris Kraus is the author of four novels, including Aliens & Anorexia, I Love Dick, and Torpor, and two books of art and cultural criticism, all published by Semiotext(e). She was a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and teaches writing at European Graduate School.
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This is a book for literary intellectuals and I was interested enough to buy it, but I'm not qualified to truly evaluate it. I am a reasonably intelligent person, but this was not my cup of tea
This book, contrary to its light hearted title, is not for everyone. You have to be pretty well read in philosophy, semiotics, literary and cultural criticism because it's a brilliant send up, parody, satire, metacriticism, mashup of those disciplines. I don't think anyone can enjoy this novel as just a surface story.
The book also expounds on the nature of female love, female abjection, the tendency to obsess over unavailable men, debase ourselves. How so many women are "plus-ones", the helpmate to a successful, older, richer man. This is the way of the world, and very, very few women could say they freed themselves from fetters of patriarchy. Even today, in 2016. Look at your feminist artsy classmates from the 1990s - how many of them made it on their own? How many have married men who make a lot of money, or have trust funds?
I simply love how this narrator self-deprecates: her films make no money but she successfully manages her professor husband's real estate investments in order to fund her art. No righteousness whatsoever. It is a great story about female self-abasement.
Finally, the author through this novel critiques the way so many people assume a female narrator rants about failed heterosexual relationships is writing autobiography, memoir, or a bitchfest. Those same people would not say Philip Roth is writing memoir, rather, they assume it is art. The Amazon reviewers here certainly are not getting it either - this is fiction, and like the best fiction, it melds philosophy, economics, poetics, and entertainment in one place and time.