God, Living Is Enormous
How might the novelist reconcile fiction and faith—make-believe and must-believe?
It's typical of God's vanity that, after creating the heavens and the earth and all that goes with them, he had to go ahead and claim the word for his son's business. "In the beginning was the Word," the opening lines of the Gospel of John instruct, "and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Ever since, the power to capitalize the w has been the prize that nearly every writer would kill for—or die trying. If the poem is a salvo at the skies and the play a pincer movement, then the novel is a full-blown putsch. It creates its own firmament between two covers, divides light from darkness, fills the waters with odd life-forms, and chokes the earth with abundance. The novelist's word is almost the Word. One problem: What about the God who invented it? He must be killed, captured, or paid off handsomely and
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