"The novelist does not long to see the
lion eat grass. He realizes that one and
the same God created the wolf and the
lamb, then smiled, “seeing that his
work was good.”"
Seems to me he is saying something about humans. The novelist depends on humans to buy his/her books…and obviously humans are more interested in lions devouring prey and being “king of the jungle” than they are in noting that cats, including big cats, enjoy some non-destructive behavior also.
The wolf and the lamb heads in that direction also. The “god” who made both the wolf and the lamb knew who was going to win debates between the two…who would end up the diner and who the dinner.
I guess another reading would be that a novelist is interested in the essentials of those who would be diners and those who would be dinner…the essentials of how nature works.
On the golf course, I often scare away deer that come too close. They tend to become immune to humans because they see so many of us…and we seem to present no danger. But better to give them some warning about the true nature of the most dangerous animal on the planet than to play along with their imprudent lack of fear.
When I do that...I am, in effect, being the novelist of the quote.