16 March, 2006

Da Vinci Code Of Honour

I continue to be fascinated by the ongoing lawsuit which pits two of the greatest fraudsters against one of the greatest fabulists. What I find most amusing is how both Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Leigh/Baigent, coauthors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail are sticking to their guns. Both books are largely woven from whole cloth, dyed in the ink of centuries of anti-Catholic conspiracy theories and coming apart at the seams. Yet both have sold millions of volumes using the premise that the facts at the heart of the story are true. This is hardly the case. There are already hundreds of books and websites debunk The Da Vinci Code, while several central players in Holy Blood, Holy Grail admit to generating a hoax around the Priory of Sion.

So, the HB, HG team is claiming plaigarism because Brown "stole their ideas." Keep in mind that if the "ideas" are facts, as the HB/HG fellows claim, then they have no case. But if they admit the book is fiction, they have a leg to stand on. They also ruin their reputation and jeopardise future sales of the book. So what to do? Obviously they're over in England walking a fine line.

Personally, I'd love to see Dan Brown taken down a few notches. I was lucky enough to discover him before Da Vinci Code, and enjoyed his other books. (Digital Fortress was my personal favourite.) But then came DVC and along with it came the new, pompous Dan Brown. Instead of admitting that he wrote a fun beach read based on a few clever hypotheses, he came out as an anti-Catholic crusader for the Truth. There are countless interviews with him touting the book as based in fact. It reminds me very much of the James Frey debacle, without any nasty dressing down from Oprah. When you write, the truth is either your friend, your foe or of no consequence. If you are writing fiction, then obviously you don't need factual truth. (Fundamental truths boost the quality of fiction work, but aren't as agonising to check.) If you are writing a story based in truth, you better have your facts sewn up. Both Frey and Brown are proof of this.

In the larger sense I think Brown should prevail, because ultimately one can't really copyright ideas. If so, every story of adultry would be actionable by the King James Bible. All fiction is semi-derivitave. But in the meantime it can't hurt for the truth about both Christ's Bloodline books to come to light.

5 Comments:

At 9:09 AM, March 16, 2006, Blogger Cheryl said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I seem to find myself following this on a daily basis. I will have to say that I hope it doesn't hold up the movie release too long, but I'll probably just be disappointed anyway. BTW, can you view my new template?

 
At 9:48 AM, March 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed Digital Fortress myself ... who will guard the guards?

Also enjoyed DaVinci's code though ... but I read it as a book of fiction ;)

Have you read "The Footprints of God" ... by Greg Iles? Similar to DF.

~Lacy

 
At 10:17 AM, March 16, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I enjoyed DVC, but since I read it after Angels & Demons it struck me as "more of the same". Apparently he feels the same way, but considers DVC to be an "improvement on the theme".

I also (Tim as my witness here...) went on and on about how Brown was gonna get sued by the HB,HG guys for stealing their book. That's what freaks me out about this more than anything. That I *cue twilight zone music* predicted it.

Actually, anyone could see it coming.

What I'm most curious about is how DBrown is going to handle his next book. From what I understand, that book is eerily similar to the story that became National Treasure.

I just eat this stuff up.

 
At 2:27 PM, March 16, 2006, Blogger HUCK said...

Leigh and Baigent are little more than opportunist slime for dragging up this lawsuit. These theories are nothing new. The only difference is Brown made more money than they did when they published their book. Umberto Eco should sue them all, and then the Masons should sue him, and then the Gnostics should sue them, and then the...


I just eat this stuff up.

Me too. It's why I became a Mason a few years back. Before the DaVinci code, incidently... Ha!
That means I was studying up on all this weirdness long before Brown even had a publisher.

...I wonder if I could jump in on this suit?

 
At 4:31 PM, March 16, 2006, Blogger reader_iam said...

I've enjoyed the heavy irony in this lawsuit. Fun!

I'm not a big Dan Brown fan, myself. While I enjoyed parts of Digital Fortress, I thought he was stretching. My husband, an engineer and a solutions architect for a major company was rather critical of the "facts" in that book, as well.

Brown may have become entrenched generally in "a little knowledge is dangerous" territory. Possible?

 

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