A scientific revolution, no, an intellectual revolution, an emotional, sensual explosion, a fabulous story just beginning to unfold for us, and you and your kind won’t give it a serious minute of your time. People used to think the world was held up by elephants. That’s nothing! Reality, whatever that word means, turns out to be a thousand times stranger. Who do you want? Luther? Copernicus? Darwin? Marx? Freud? None of them has re-invented the world and our place in it as radically and bizarrely as the physicists of this century have. The measurers of the world can no longer detach themselves. They have to measure themselves too. Matter, time, space, forces – all beautiful and intricate illusions in which we must now collude. What a stupendous shake-up, Stephen. Shakespeare would have grasped wave functions, Donne would have understood complementarity and relative time. They would have been excited. What richness! They would have plundered this new science for the imagery. And they would have educated their audiences too. But you ‘arts’ people, you’re not only ignorant of these magnificent things, you’re rather proud of knowing nothing. As far as I can make out, you think that some local, passing fashion like modernism – modernism! – is the intellectual achievement of our time. Pathetic! Now, stop smirking and get me a drink.
Ian McEwan – The Child In Time.