Everything, Something, Nothing: The Modern Novel and the Departure of God

These writers struggled with unbelief and doubt; as novelists, they are interested in trying to see both sides of a theological argument, and thus they cannot do what the New Atheists do, which is merely to caricature any form of belief they do not approve of. They offer narratives of belief, and novelistic narratives make comprehensible, make real, the ambiguity, the contradiction, the intermittence, even the absurdity and comic irrationality of our ideational lives. In a beautiful passage in Moby Dick, Melville says that the ocean constantly moves and heaves like a human conscience. That could be said of our mental life, too.
— James Wood