Jill Soloway to Produce Pilot Based on Chris Kraus’s ‘I Love Dick’
Here’s looking forward to 'Dick' directed on television.
Jill Soloway, award-winning creator of Transparent, is creating another pilot for Amazon: a short comedy based on Chris Kraus’s 1997 novel I Love Dick, according to Deadline Hollywood. The show is set in Marfa, Texas, in the midst of an eclectic community of academics.
I Love Dick is Kraus’s first and also best-known novel. Radical for its depiction of female desire and distress as well as its provocative merging of memoir and fiction, Kraus’s work ranges from psycho to sexual, endearing to erotic. I Love Dick is written as a series of documents, as it follows the disintegration of a marriage between the main character, also called Chris Kraus, and her husband, Sylvère Lotringer, named after Kraus’s real-life ex-husband. “Chris” and her husband write letters of affection as well as abjection to “Dick,” whose character is based off professor and critic Dick Hebdige.
In 1998, after the book came out, “This American Life” interviewed Chris Kraus and Sylvère Lotringer during an episode entitled “Monogamy.” Kraus and Lotringer openly discussed the crush that led to the creation of I Love Dick, in all its allure and agony.
The novel started as a suggestion from Sylvère, as a project for Chris and Sylvère to collaborate on. They wrote letters to Dick, and Sylvère describes the process to This American Life’s Ira Glass as being a “very sensual thing,” recalling how the two were “sitting in front of each other and basically dictating the letter to the other person.”
It was Sylvère who wrote the first letter, as he was closer to Dick. As they are questioned about the experience, Sylvère admits it was “a risky operation” like “playing with fire,” but reduces jealousy by labeling it as a process from which one can learn, and as a feeling one can work to avoid.
Kraus is blunt in her recollection of realizing her feelings for Dick, but optimistic in her sentiment for Sylvère, closing the podcast with the proclamation, “The whole question of faithfulness, of fidelity, it seems small, compared to loyalty and a lifetime commitment to another person.”
The pilot I Love Dick is executively produced and directed by Soloway with Andrea Sperling’s Topple Productions, and written by playwright Sarah Gubbins, all under Amazon Studios.
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