BOOK REVIEW: I Love Dick by Chris Kraus

A friend of mine recommended I Love Dick to me after I spotted her reading it on Instagram. I have to admit that I am not really sure where to start with this review or really how to describe this novel… if it is a novel because it is so different from anything I have ever read before but I am going to have a go nonetheless.

Chris Kraus (yes, she named the main character after herself) is a film maker married to an older academic and author Sylvere Lotringer. They visit Sylvere’s friend and fellow academic, Dick and during their evening together Chris becomes convinced that she and Dick have developed a connection, which she refers to as a “conceptual fuck”. As she and Sylvere discuss everything she shares this with him, convinced she has fallen in love with him. This leads to Chris and Sylvere writing Dick a series of letters that express their feelings about him, themselves and each other.

Dick is shocked, baffled and sort of intrigued but really he is just a conduit for Chris’s exploration of herself, her relationship with Sylvere and her feelings about love and relationships as her letters to Dick turn into more of a diary of her inner thoughts.

It’s so much more than that though… it’s an art critique, a feminist manifesto, a in-depth exploration of gender roles and power… and I did not understand so much of it. I know sweet fuck all about art and I have never done the kind of academic study where I would come across all the authors and thinkers that Kraus was quoting.

There were parts of this book I found fascinating and thought-provoking and other parts that I found completely baffling and yet other parts where I honestly just got completely lost. Was it an enjoyable read? I can’t say it was. Was it interesting and worth reading? Yes. Would I recommend it? Well, that really depends on what kind of thing you like to read. If you’re looking for entertainment, probably not. I feel like if I was more enlightened and educated I would be giving this a better rating but I feel like that would be pretentious considering that I am really not either of those things.

3/5

2 Comments

  1. It sounds different, Abbi, and I like the idea of how it is constructed. That said, it seems rather indulgent too, and aimed at a readership that is unlikely to include me.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. It was a very interesting piece of… fiction (there are some suggestions that not all of it is fiction) but I agree somewhat indulgent and I am not sure I was the intended readership either as I didn’t get 3/4 of the references.

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