The Serpent’s Tail Book Club – DECEMBER 2022

24 November 2022

DECEMBER 2022: I LOVE DICK

We’ve got an absolute treat in store for you for our Serpent’s Tail December Book Club pick: Chris Kraus’ iconic novel I Love Dick. A cult classic, this fiery feminist read continues to entertain readers 25 years down the line with its funny and relevant exploration of love, relationships and our own personal philosophy. We can’t wait for you to discover the gem that is I Love Dick…!

Find more about the Serpent’s Tail Book Club and FAQs here.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but when he fails to answer their letters Chris continues alone, transforming an adolescent infatuation into a new form of philosophy.

Blurring the lines of fiction, essay and memoir, Chris Kraus’s novel was a literary sensation when it was first published in 1997. Widely considered to be the most important feminist novel of the past two decades, I Love Dick is still essential reading; as relevant, fierce and funny as ever.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Kraus is the author of the novels Aliens and AnorexiaI Love Dick, and Summer of Hate as well as Video Green: Los Angeles Art and the Triumph of Nothingness and Where Art Belongs. A Professor of Writing at the European Graduate School, she writes for various magazines and lives in Los Angeles.


READING GROUP QUESTIONS

  1. Why does Chris start writing to Dick? Why does she keep writing to him?
  2. How do you see Chris and Sylvere’s relationship change throughout the novel?
  3. In a letter to Dick, Sylvere asks ‘Would Chris have fallen in love with you if I hadn’t been there to make it so embarrassing?’ What do you think?
  4. Do you think Dick owes Chris more than he gives? Why/why not?
  5. All three characters often equate infatuation with adolescence. Do you think this allows Chris to feel less responsible of her feelings?
  6. Throughout Chris and Sylvere’s infatuation with Dick, he isn’t a willing participant. Would you classify their actions as harassment or an extreme of performance art?
  7. Chris says, ‘Art, like God or The People, is fine for as long as you can believe in it.’ How does this system of belief manifest itself in the novel?
  8. Did any of Chris’ many cultural criticisms in her letters speak to you?
  9. Some might say Sylvere is brave in his acceptance of Chris’ crush on Dick, some might call him cowardly and dependent – do you agree with either judgment?
  10. I Love Dick has been a highly divisive novel since publication, yet has grown a rather large cult following. Why do you think that is?