Friday, May 27, 2005

Did DaVinci get Left Behind?

Ok, so in the midst of my intense three-week MayMester on 20th Century American Poetry, I took a "mind break" and read The DaVinci Code over the course of the last three nights. Besides all of the historical inaccuracies and sickening references to rituals and goddess worship (the last page almost made me want to throw up), I wondered if Dan Brown learned how to write a bestseller at the feet of Jerry B. Jenkins?

With hundreds of cliched phrases peppered through the novel--- memorable examples include someone who "cut through traffic like a knife" and descriptions of a chapel with "doves cooing in the eaves"-- he had to have taken some pointers from Mr. Cheesy Thriller himself. Not to mention the "cool technology" incorporated into the book-- as soon as they got into the Land Rover, visions of Buck fleeing from the Tribulation danced in my head. Let's see, what other similarities arose-- there's a daughter of an important figure in the book who becomes the love interest of an investigative skeptic, a powerful (surprise!) bad guy with world-wide connections, and of course, references to the "End of Days." I want to know what in the world qualifies Dan Brown as "One of the most intelligent and dynamic authors in the genre"? Is it because of his knowledge of the art history and secret societies? He probably just got the idea from his wife. Most likely it is his alternative history scenario, and that alone, that accrues any sort of accolades or media interest. Surely they cannot compliment his writing?

Sadly, I kept thinking that despite the aberrant theology and blatant disregard of the Catholic Church (or perhaps because of it), and though the anti-Christian bias should create intense cognitive dissonance, I believe that some of the same people who gobble down the Left Behind series might also be suckered into thinking this stuff is good. At least, it would encourage the same types of readers: those who enjoy reading about people who decipher obscure references in ancient art/texts and apply them to some version of world events. Of course, one thing I can say for Brown is that at least he understands the concept of figurative language.

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