I Love Dick by Chris Kraus

i love dick

I was attracted to I Love Dick by Chris Kraus because of the book’s sleeve. Naturally. The blurb on the back said that it was one of the most important feminist novels of the 1990s so I gave it a read. It’s epistolary in structure (and quite autobiographical too apparently), written entirely in the form of letter’s from Kraus to the seductive and mysterious Dick, with the occasional diary entry from Kraus and also contributions from her former husband Sylvere Lotringer. Given the fact that the book is barely fictionalised, it’s a fairly intense character study of the author herself and you have to admire the brutal honesty of her effort. There’s also plenty to admire in the portrait she paints too; a very intelligent woman searching for love and happiness. However, it’s not an easy read. You won’t fly through this in a week. It’s as academic as they come, full of complicated musings on the meaning of life, studies of obscure New York 1970s artists and long tracts about balancing one’s feminist beliefs amidst day to day realities and oppressive patriarchy. As her obsession with Dick, which isn’t reciprocated by the way, and her relationship with her husband falls apart, her letters and diary entries become more and more interesting and touch on subjects as disparate as they are compelling. Definitely worth reading, but it will challenge you.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

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