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Chris Kraus and Sylvere Lotringer visit This American Life in 1998


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http://www.lightmonkey.net/photos/Portraits/New%20Folder/2009SylvereLotringer&ChrisKraus.jpg

Since the announcement last week that Amazon ordered a TV adaptation of I Love Dick from Transparent director Jill Soloway, I’ve wondered: Will this be amazing? Who will play Dick? Will this be awful–could you imagine a cartoonishly French Sylvere? And most importantly, which actress could portray the charmingly weird charisma of Chris Kraus? Among my surfing this week I came across Kraus and Lotringer’s appearance on NPR’s This American Life in an episode about monogamy. When paired with an incredulous Ira Glass and a late '90s quirky ambient soundscape, the couple’s chemistry recalling the story result is nothing short of magical. Here’s part of the transcript below. The audio is available via This American Life.

Sylvere
We started one evening, an evening like any other, which we spent as a couple with a friend, actually, somewhat of an associate of mine. And we just had dinner in a restaurant. And after that, we decided to go and have a drink at his place.

Chris
Ah, dinner. Well, at dinner, I noticed that Dick was making eye contact with me across the table. And at one point in the evening, he’d looked at me, the way I was dressed. We’d met each other once or twice before. And he said, “You look as though you’re really ready to come out, come out with something.” Anyway, it was very strong, and it was very sexy. It was like Dick and I were speaking a secret language in front of Sylvere.

Sylvere
He lived in a desert somewhere. And it was quite a long drive through the mountains and down the desert, and then winding along roads until we reached his house, which was the last house in a little desert town, really the last stop before nowhere. And then we had an evening together, which was, I thought, pretty nice. And we got some drinks and listened to music and saw Dick’s video. And it was one of these evenings that turns to be like morning.

Chris
Dick played us a video that he’d made that was commissioned by English Public Television of himself dressed as Johnny Cash, riding his horse into the heart of darkness and talking about earthquakes and longing and despair. And it was then that I fell totally in love with Dick.

Ira Glass
Watching him dressed as Johnny Cash?

Chris
Yeah.

Sylvere
I was not quite aware that there was anything happening between Dick and Chris, my wife. And there was not much happening, except in her mind, I guess. And then we went to bed.

Chris
We stumble off to bed at 2 o’clock in the morning, me and Sylvere on the sofa bed in the living room, Dick in his bedroom on the other side of the wall with the door closed. And all night long, I found myself dreaming that I had moved across the wall and I was in bed with Dick.

Sylvere
And in the morning-- we’re on a kind of extended sofa-- and in the morning, Dick was gone. And Chris started fantasizing about the fact that he-- before realizing he was left, she fantasized about the fact that he was like smoking a cigarette in his bed. And then we discovered he was gone. And we waited a bit and then decided to go back to our place. And that was the main substance of what became an extended story.

Chris
We left, and we went and had breakfast at the IHOP down the road. And I couldn’t stop talking about it.

Sylvere
We talk about all these things and things that go through our head. And I guess I pay attention to them, but I didn’t pay special attention to it at that point. It didn’t seem like anything real. And I didn’t feel threatened by it at all.

*Image of Sylver Lotringer and Chris Kraus via lightmonkey.net