Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Da Vinci Code and History

I really like Dan Brown's books -- I've read the illustrated editions of Angels and Demons, and just finished The Da Vinci Code today.

Sure, some novel critics will say the characters are somewhat 1 dimensional, blah blah blah, but I dion't really give a shit what critics think half the time. It was a thought provoking, entertaining page turner. Wasn't really MEANT to be much else. People just miss the point. Like Rogert Ebert wondering why "Dude Where's My Car" isn't more intellectual.

I won't spoil it for anyone who will read it in the future (I recommend it), but suffice to say, I've learnd a fair bit about:
● Art history
● European locations and architecture. Damn, makes me want to visit Eurpoe.
●Da Vinci's works (like why is the Mona Lisa, a seemingly bland picture of a bland looking woman, the most famous painting ever???)
●what the Holy Grail actually is (my previous knowledge stemmed mostly from Monty Python.)
●Secret societies and such (Knights Templar, Priory of Sion, Illuminati).

Of course, I understand, the author, Dan Brown is not a well renowned Historian, but it's fiction after all.

A small set of Catholic groups are upset because theories presented by the ficitional characters undermine the fundamentals of Catholicism. Then again, the new Pope probably is in this group as well, since he publically denounced Harry Potter as well.

Well, I thought they were very interesting theories indeed. Sure, they can be disproven by historical records, and proven by others, however, I quote Dan Brown:

"Since the beginning of recorded time, history has been written by the "winners" (those societies and belief systems that conquered and survived). Despite an obvious bias in this accounting method, we still measure the "historical accuracy" of a given concept by examining how well it concurs with our existing historical record. Many historians now believe (as do I) that in gauging the historical accuracy of a given concept, we should first ask ourselves a far deeper question: How historically accurate is history itself?"

It's always a possibility that some of what Dan Brown write's a truth. But we'll never know. Unless of course someone does find the "Holy Grail". Gotta have faith I guess.


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