Sunday, March 05, 2006

SUNDAY READING: 'Da Vinci Code' Fallout

I'M NOT SURE WHAT THE STATUS of Dan Brown's novel in progress, "The Solomon Key," is, but as you may know that it's been reported to dive into some of Washington's more enduring conspiracy theories: Supposed evil Masonic plotting that's built into the 1791 L'Enfant layout of the nation's capital. (This has been written about before. Read David Ovason's "The Secret Architecture of Washington, D.C." or take a look at some of these conspiracy theories available online. It's all quite interesting, even for those who are generally skeptical of conspiracy theories.

Anyhow, I suggest you take a look at some other Dan Brown-related news happening in London: How his best selling novel "The DaVinci Code," a.k.a. literary crack for Metrorail commuters two years back, is on trial.

Says the Christian Science Monitor:
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh are suing Mr. Brown's publisher, Random House, alleging that the 2003 thriller was based on their 1982 historical work, "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail," which contends that Jesus Christ survived crucifixion and escaped to France to sire a dynasty with Mary Magdalene.
The CSM article explores some pretty interesting ideas, particularly whether history can be copyrighted, or in this case, whether the "architecture" of a work of non-fiction is proprietary. The case continues Tuesday. So take a look at that if you have some time.

Additionally, The Guardian in its Sunday edition notes something interesting: It had been first to report on the Jesus was married theory back in 1971.

Says the Guardian:
[Brown's lawyer] told the court the theory that Jesus was married had first been aired in an article in this newspaper in 1971. He added: "We say the claim relies on and seeks to monopolise ideas at such a high level of generality they are not protected by copyright." ... Sir George Williams ... began the full-page article: "A married Jesus? Not an unmarried virgin, but a married man as the incarnate Son of God for Christians. Why not? Does the immediate reaction of many Christians against the idea come simply from a conviction that it is historically untrue, that in fact Jesus was a celibate? Hardly. The reaction is too strong to spring from a mere concern with history. In any case, as we shall see, the evidence is, to say the least, indecisive."
Anyhow, if you enjoy these stories of theological mysteries and intellectual property, do read that Guardian article as well.

>> "Did 'Da Vinci Code' break British copyright code?" [Christian Science Monitor]
>> "Rebel theologian surfaces at heart of Da Vinci case" [The Guardian]

Map of D.C.'s conspiratorial layout from this website


At 3:10 PM, Blogger Scott said...

While I've never been a big fan of the conspiracy theory/secret plots in time, I do find Brown's fiction to be entertaining and would definitely be up for reading a novel on DC. Being a resident, it would be a bit fun to visit the same landmarks.


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