I do realise that I have a tendency to refer to ‘the contemporary novel’ or ‘the modern novel’ as if there were such a thing that had a certain set of properties. Of course, I don’t really mean this. I have even acknowledged this fact before. I am making general points about what I believe to be vague (or sometimes not so vague) trends in the contemporary novel. Of course, there are hundreds of thousands of novels out there that probably don’t have anything to do with what I’m saying. It is really my hope that what I’m saying will be vindicated when, in the distant future, several tens of novels are chosen as the greatest of this era and they display some of the characteristics I’m talking about. Of course, I’ll be dead by then and everything I’ve said will be long forgotten.
My points are made on the conviction that it is the novel that has (and does) serve as an important device for propagating ideas such as the moral relativism and the absence of objective meaning, or at the very least a given novel will implicitly accept such ideas and have it’s characters operate within such a framework. A response to this might be a novel in which such ideas are challenged, a novel in which characters refuse to believe in the objective and are forced to face the consequences of such a choice (nothing has meaning, nothing is beautiful, the word beauty itself has no meaning, even relations with other people are rendered meaningless).
This would probably be a good time to freely admit to having no authority whatsoever on any of the matters I am liable to discuss. My education, as it is, has little to do with literature or theology (I’m a Computer Science and Mathematics undergraduate). I’ve got little more than largely uninformed opinions. I do hope they have some merit, however, and would love feedback whether it be in agreement or not.