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“I Love Dick” by Chris Kraus

How had I never read this book before?

Chris Kraus’s 1997 book I Love Dick is part epistolary novel, part exegesis of itself. It’s basically feminist theory masquerading as a doomed rom-com.

The quasi-plot: Chris and her husband have dinner with a colleague of his, Dick. She gets a crush on Dick and she and her husband together start writing him letters expressing–and stoking–her feelings.

As Dick maintains a bemused silence, Chris gets more and more obsessed with him. She travels around the country pining for him and writing him long love letters from grimy motels. Somewhere in all this she leaves her husband. She goes and sleeps with Dick, who isn’t really into her but is doing some kind of very passive-aggressive “not saying no” thing. But then he gets mad and freaks out on her for turning him into an object and invading his privacy. Then she does a whole exegesis of the first part of the book.

It’s the strangest book I’ve read at least since last week’s Fat: a Love Story. (Both were recommended by my weird-book-connoisseur friend Asia.) I agree with nearly every review on Amazon, both 1-star and 5-star ones. It’s both enthralling and repellant. She’s both cool and intolerable. But I am so glad to have read it and wish my friends had too, because it’s relevant to a lot of different conversations, including: Continue reading

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