Saturday, April 29, 2006

da book da vinci

Ron Silliman's blog has been better to read recently. I was only skipping by there for a while, not truly pausing and reading. There was something about it and the comments that turned me off. Maybe the relentless sense of USAmerican-ness, the insularity of it and the comments ... well it was, in many cases, their sheer inanity (inane is fine but wears real thin real quick) or slanderous ego-driven ungenerous shoutiness which made me roll my eyes. Maybe it's a US thang and I don't get it. I know others that don't get it either, but that's by-the-by.

But I was interested in a couple of things. To engage with The Da Vinci Code phenomena, for instance.

I know it almost de rigeur to find the whole Dan Brown thing rather tedious and to poo-poo the book. Ron says that "The Da Vinci Code is to great literature what Indiana Jones is to great cinema". Well. I think that's insulting to Indiana Jones myself, but one gets the general drift.

However, I did read the Brown book quite a while back. Da Vinci got me from Sydney to Prague (via Singapore and Frankfurt) - a hellish experience being squeezed into cattle class for 24+ hours - and I'll always be grateful for that. I have tried many ways of dealing with flights like these - no, neither alcohol nor sleeping pills have ever helped much - and have found just two: (1) a page-turner plotty book dealing with crime or a search/puzzle or (2) constant fillums which I can dial up myself (not all airlines do this). I'm not high-minded enough (unlike a lot of poets I know) to claim that I don't read novels. I'm a pretty basic kinda girl, really, and a good thriller will get me through any dull journey.

Of course, there is so much that is just wrong in the book, like the Opus Dei stuff (no, I'm not a Catholic, ex or otherwise, but I know escapees from The Work) as well as the things Ron mentions. Also, the sense the book gives that somehow the things being spoken of have been 'hidden' till now is just plain ludicrous. But, hello, it's a novel and that's its world. I hate to think how bad the movie will be, though sometimes film adaptions can be better than their sources, but the locations could be fun. I've checked some of them out, places I'd been to at other times in other contexts. They are real. I'm sure the folks at St Sulpice are well sick of tourists wondering around there with their copies of TDVC looking for the meridian line. There's a merdian line also in the middle of Prague. Wonder when that's going to get the treatment. All the world's a stage - sure.

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