Why I’ve learned to love the novel…

Thanks to Isa Daudpota, I was introduced to Rebecca Goldstein who marries the art of novel with science in an effortless manner. Her remarks in this piece published at the New Scientist are insightful:

More than ever,science is pushing at us
from every side-not just physics but the
behavioural sciences, genetics and
neuroscience-forcing us to revise what it
means for us to be in the universe. It’s the job of the novelist not only to engage with that challenge but, more pressingly, to present what it feels like to be so engaged. The novel’s wondrous capaciousness allows it to take on
all of these dimensions in the quest towards knowing the world.

And science and art are not quite as far
removed as the so-called” two cultures” often presume. We’re not lunging our fists straight into reality in pursuing the sciences, but rather modelling reality.This modelling is an imaginative work. I’ve always taken pleasure in Einstein’s remark that if he were exceptional in anything it was as a fabulist. As fabulists, both artists and scientists not call on their imaginations but also on aesthetic criteria of beauty and elegance to guide them in their work.

This explains the range, appeal and relevance of the novel.

Full text of this piece can be accessed here

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