Da Vinci Code redux

Aaarrgghhh!!!! The Catholic Church or at least individuals withing the church – Its not a huge monolithic eeeeeeeeevillllllllll organisation like some people would have you belive (OK it is, but thats beside the point) – has come out against the Da Vinci Code. Which is stupid for lots of reasons.

Firstly, its a bit late. The book has already sold 18 million copies and all this is going to do is encourage more people to read it. The “if the church is against it it must beworth looking at” factor. Watch Dan Brown count up another million novels sold after this.

Secondly the book is fiction. lets say that again FICTION! There is a clue to this in that it you can purchase it from the FICTION section of reputable (and not so reputable) bookshops. Not the history or archeology or religous studies, philiosophy or even new age sections. the FICTION sections. Fiction books can claim whatever they like – even that they are based on real events and/or real people and they don’t have to mean it. In fact they can even lie about it because they are FICTION and thats what it means. Point out that slowly and carefully to punters. “The Catholic Church does not comment on works of fiction. Particularly badly written works of fiction”

Next if you want to criticise any novel one way to do it is use literary criticism techniques which were developed to decide if books were any good or not.

3) To enable us to form judgments about literature.

One of the purposes of criticism is to judge if a work is any good or not. For instance, we might use a formalist approach to argue that a John Donne poem is of high quality because it contains numerous intricate conceits that are well sustained. Or, we might use the mimetic approach to argue that The West Indian is a poor play because it fails to paint a realistic picture of the world.

Personally. I can’t say how the Da Vinci Code would hold up to such scrutiny. but I can guess. And I imagine the Catholic Church cuold round up a few experts in literary criticism to give the book a good going over.

Furthermore, people like Ken MacLeod may believe thatknowledge and understanding of history is the secret weapon of the Science Fiction writer, indeed any writer. But that doesn’t mean that one should use works of fiction as their primary source of historical fact or conjecture.

Finally if all that doesn’t work then go for the jugular and demand irrefutable proof in the form of, I don’t know Primary Sources. Ask to see authentic handwritten accounts and proofs of all the theories in the book. While you are at ask how if the author has mastered aincent hebrew, greek, latin and medieval latin, french and english in his efforts to produce a book from primary source material he doesn’t mention it in his biography. Or have a couple of PhDs in aincent studies.
For anyone who thinks languages haven’t chnaged THAT much. They are correct for different values of “that much”. I point to Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s website as an example. (hint: first para starts “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…” as should be obvious from the context)

4 Responses to “”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    you never know you may get lucky and Dan Brown will be giving the writing seminar in Scotland.
    “How to sell millions of books”

  2. mgb Says:

    “UL Student Murders Famous Author”

  3. Anonymous Says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4369363.stm

  4. Anonymous Says:

    XXX, Free sex, video, nude charm, exactly what you want to find on the web ! Adult only ! See you soon baby http://www.nudecharm.net . Your blog is nice, very nice, and i love its contents

Leave a Reply