Saturday Creativity Quote — more from Paul Lynch

Jeffrey Brown : “You have written about the role of the novel today and I guess a concern about whether it can still be valued, even important, have a place in our society.”

Paul Lynch: “Yes. It goes back to what I call the whisper in the ear. I mean, the novelist can whisper in the reader’s ear, and that’s a beautiful conversation. There’s also whisper in the ear that you have with yourself. But we live in a time where technology has done something to us.

We are no longer, for many of us anyway — unless you cultivate it and shape it, we are not in tune with ourselves. We’re not hearing the voice in the ear. And it’s harder to read fiction too. And I think that a culture that cannot hear itself think is a culture that is in serious trouble.

And I like that idea of fiction just being a little bit more dangerous, a little bit more engaging, pushing into — seeking this hidden charge of things and giving the reader maybe a little bit more electricity, but doing it respectfully.”

— Irish novelist Paul Lynch, winner of the 2024 Booker Prize for the novel Prophet Song, interviewed by Jeffrey Brown on the PBS Newshour