Helen DeWitt’s Satire

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This Millions piece breaks down Helen DeWitt’s latest novel, Lighting Rods, finding genius “in the details.” Reflecting on the unique techniques and difficulties of the satirical tradition, the review applauds Dewitt’s navigation of “the gap between messy reality and the logical Ideal.”

“What, exactly, is being skewered? By the end of the book, the answer, wonderfully, seems to be “everything”: bureaucracy, sexual politics, the objectification of the female body, the sanctification of same, political correctness, political incorrectness, etiquette, boorishness, ambition, laziness, late capitalism, and even logic itself.”


Lisa Dusenbery is the former managing editor of The Rumpus. More from this author →