Monday, June 05, 2006

Da Vinci Lode

I eventually gave in and read The Da Vinci Code. I don't like the way Dan Brown writes, and as far as I can tell he's only written one book, because a quick look at the other one - something about bones or blood? I forget - soon told me that it was DVC all over again, but with Illuminati instead of Opus Dei, a professor instead of a curator, a niece instead of......need I go on?

(A friend said he wrote the Illuminati one first, and DVC is actually an improved rehash. Two sets of royalties for one book - not bad. Something for those who buy one handbag in three different colours?)

What interested me, being female and having been brought up Catholic, was all the stuff about the suppression of 'the feminine'. I already knew that St. Paul and one of the St. Augustines had a lot to answer for. So I did a bit of research. Nothing. Nada. Nyet. Or at least, nothing to support Dan Brown's so-called truth. Opus Dei exists. Not secret. The Priory of Sion does not, having been invented by a French charlatan, Pierre Plantard. Quite disappointing really, as I was working up a nice head of steam about the sexism, if not mysogyny, built into the operations and directions of the Roman Catholic Church. Ah well.

So all this hoohaa from Christian groups regarding first the book and then the film strikes me as bloody stupid mob rule. Honestly! All that superiority about Muslim outrage about cartoons that most had not seen, and then this! Islam prohibits the depiction of the Prophet (pbuh) even (especially) in reverence. The 'west' has no such dictate, and in fact celebrates freedom of speech and freedom of the press (including all the media). For Christians to insist that we should not be permitted the opportunity to read a book or watch a film, when all the counter-arguments are out there too, for those who care enough to check their facts, is arrogant, hypocritical and downright self-indulgent.

There was the same fuss about The Life of Brian about a million years ago. (If God made us, and in his image and likeness (not in our bodies, but in our souls) does it not indicate a divine sense of humour? Er... not about making us.... unless all the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players, and we're coming to the climax of a century-long black comedy?)

The Roman Catholic Church abolished The Index (a list of banned books) a long time ago (I think! Good grief! Could it possibly still exist?) in support, I believe of the principles of Free Will and personal responsiblity. Anyone who would ban books is very suspect in my view.

Children must be protected.

Adults have the responsibility to make choices, and do their homework about those choices.

Hmph. I will now get down off this soap-box before I hyperventilate.

In case you were wondering, this started when a colleague sent me an email, 20 Big Lies in the Da Vinci Code. I found it on-line in a Christian magazine. If you're still interested.

(P.S. I preferred the film to the book.)


Duffy said...

Get ready for Illuminati 3. It's called "The Solomon Key" and this time its the Freemasons instead of the Catholic church. This guy is no different than John Grisham who's been writing the same book for 20 years (IMNHO).

I read the book and laughed at the silliness of it all. So many errors I hardly knew where to start.

MamaDuck said...

There you go, Duffy - I don't get out much - had to look it up! =)
Ooh! Ooh! Bated breath!

Velkropie said...


Just a thought, isn't this a fiction book?

Does everything has to be based in real events?


MamaDuck said...

Hi Velkropie - The trouble lies in the page entitled 'Fact' at the very beginning of the book. Consider*

DB states that The Priory of Sion is a real organisation. It is not. Let's call that a fiction.

Then there is a section on Opus Dei, which might charitably be called faction - the stuff of tabloid journalism and gossip columns: Juxtapose two 'facts' carefully selected to suggest an implicit conclusion. Then start a conspiracy novel on the next page. Uhuh....

And what about: "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate." A lot of controversy might have been avoided, if people had only realised that DB's Louvre is actually in a parallel dimension similar, but not identical, to our own, which he has personally visited in guided out-of-body experiences with his therapist; that the artworks and documents were painstakingly handcrafted in the shed at the bottom of his garden; and that the rituals so accurately described are lifted from a fantasy brochure for a special interest package holiday - proof sheets also to be found in the aforementioned shed.

Of course, DB could not possibly have anticipated that placing the word 'Fact' at the top of the page might lead so many readers to assume that it meant 'truth', AND referred to the other words on the page; when it was merely a reassuringly solid word to fill a disturbingly blank space, and get DB over writer's block at the beginning of his long-dreamt-of magnum opus, a word which his editor unfortunately failed to delete before publication....... DB really must remonstrate with his absent-minded editor, when he pops in to pick up his next royalty cheque. After all, the reading public understands sooooooo little about the pitfalls of publishing.

*Mama Duck wishes to make it clear to anyone reading this drivel that it is fiction (intended meaning: an untruth compeletely devoid of malicious intent) and should not be taken to refer to any person living or dead from any dimension known or unknown to her.


Woke said...

Dan Brown has grossly exaggerated the existence of secret societies and and and organised underground campaign against the church. I would say these things would have happened in a much smaller scale without any co-ordination, in different parts of the world. Almost like a sitation where a small village in Nepal embraces communism for some reason relevant to their locality while it is interpreted by historians as a collaboration between KGB and Nepal.

The real success of 'Da Vinci Code' as a novel lies in the fact that it has been successful in raising historical and religious questions (distorted or not) that were previously found in dreary atheist and scientific journals. To make a staunch Catholic who has believed in the religion for 20 years or more, to type "was jesus married?" in Google is by no means a small achievement - for good or bad. If some hypothesis proposed by the characters in DVC (and indirectly by Brown himself) is absurd and unproven, most of the counter arguments are also as vague.