Oh Dick, I want to be an intellectual like you.
In I LOVE DICK, published in 1997, Chris Kraus, author of Aliens & Anorexia, Torpor, and Video Green, opened up an entirely new era in the history of writing by boldly tearing away the veil that separates fiction from reality and privacy from self-expressions. No wonder it instantly elicited violent controversies and also 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 (a colleague of her husband) refuses to answer her letters, the husband and wife begin to write a series of letters to one another instead -- detailing the imaginary fling the wife wishes to have with her husband's colleague. What follows is a breathless pursuit that takes the woman not only across the American continent and away from her husband, but also far beyond her original infatuation into a discovery of the transformative power of first person narrative. Breaking through into honesty whatever the consequences, Kraus paradoxically becomes a-personal and heroic, almost prophetic in its embrace of the world outside. 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 itself and for all the injustice in world. It is the kind of book that you can't put down before you finish reading it all and turns you into another person, just like the writer herself.
Between 9:30 aand 11:30 I tried your number four more times but hung up on your machine. At 1:45 a.m. I tried again, your line was busy. At 2:05 I called again and finally reached you. At first your voice was cold, detached. You said you couldn't really talk, but then you did, you did.