Defending DaVinci

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Ok, I just came back from the writer’s workshop and I'm a little pissed. No, it's not because some of the losers there treat the teacher as if he were some scholar (as if could actually tell a verb from a noun) and it's also not because he LOVES going off topic to needlessly mention a lot of the authors he's read. Not, this time I'm pissed because they were discussing Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code.

I've just about had it with people dismissing this book as populist crap. It's seems to be the vogue nowadays, to talk shit about this monumentally huge bestseller and make yourself look all intellectual in the process. OH PLEASE! Bad mouthing a successful author only makes you look jealous and bitter, so ha!

Anyways, a lot of this criticism stems from the fact that a lot of the really controversial and "shocking" revelations Brown makes in is book were already documented many times before and even part of a plot of an earlier book (Umberto Eco's Foucault’s Pendulum). Ok, if publishing never-before-seen material were any part the basis of literary merit, you'd have to revoke a hell of a lot of Nobel Prizes, so that argument is worth shit.

Others dismiss is as not being real literature, but mainly "this week's bestseller". Ok, HELLO, the fucking book has been on the NY Times' Bestseller list for 117 WEEKS!!!, that's over 2 years man! It's NOT a passing phenomenon... that's an extraordinary feat for ANY book. And success does not mean it's a low quality book. First of all, it's a MYSTERY novel, ok? It's not a novel about deep reflections on life seen through the eyes of a mentally retarded man or the unbearable lightness of being depressed... it's a mystery novel, a caper, Indiana Jones, etc, etc, etc... criticizing it for not being more (as if the book were pretentious in any way, which it is NOT) is like yelling at an orange for not being a cucumber. It's stupid. This book is a mystery novel and it's a damned good one. Grabbing a reader's attention and holding it with clues and clever (and some not so clever) plot twists is not as easy as it sounds. It just drives me crazy when people snobilly put it down (and some of them haven't even read it... like the workshop teacher!). It's a good mystery novel. It has some sensationalistic religious content, yes... but the reason you keep turning the fucking pages is because of the writing, the way the information is thought up, structured and presented.... not just because the holy grail really is or really isn't a... oh, forget it.

There, whew... rant over...

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