The Key to The Da Vinci Code [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Stewart Ferris
eBook Category: History/Reference
eBook Description: What is it about The Da Vinci Code that has captured people's interest and made it an international bestseller? Despite being a work of fiction, The Da Vinci Code has a plot based on a number of concepts and ideas that the author claims to be true. This book explores the locations, historical facts and theories, and the sources of inspiration behind the novel in order to reveal the true key to The Da Vinci Code.
eBook Publisher: Crombie Jardine/Crombie Jardine, Published: 2005
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2005
5 Reader Ratings:
Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code has been a phenomenal bestseller, with millions of copies of the book sold in 42 languages. It's a pacy, well-structured thriller with plenty of twists and turns; a classic page-turner that's hard to put down. A snippet of information or a clue appears in every chapter, a kind of cliffhanger that is not immediately explained. But the following chapter doesn't always resolve it: Dan Brown switches between plot and subplot, each story strand containing its own cliffhangers, and each storyline wrapped around the other so that by the time the reader has found the answer to one tantalising clue, another one has appeared. The engrossed follower has no option but to continue with the story at break-neck speed. But is that enough to explain the novel's popularity?
The answer lies in the concepts dealt with in The Da Vinci Code. The book is a complex blend of symbolism, historical theories, secret societies and religion, which separately presented would make for some heavy reading. When the information is filtered through to the reader in the context of a novel, however, a much wider audience is exposed to the ideas in the book than would otherwise be possible. Dan Brown has created a modern day Grail quest, and in doing so has revitalised, and to some extent reinvented, an ancient literary tradition that extends back to the famous fourteenth-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and to earlier written and oral poems. Admittedly, Grail quests have always been popular, but never this popular. What has Dan Brown done that is so different? How can the hunt for the Grail be so fascinating to people living in the Internet Age?
The answer is fundamental to the novel, to history and to Christian religion, for it concerns the meaning of the word "Grail". Medieval Grail manuscripts used the word "Sangraal", which was later split into "San Graal", meaning Holy Grail. But the authors of one of the books that influenced Dan Brown, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, suggested that perhaps the word had been split in the wrong place. If instead of "San Graal" the split is changed to make "Sang Raal" then the meaning changes to "Royal Blood". Therefore the quest for the Holy Grail changes from a relatively meaningless hunt for a chalice artefact to a search for a holy bloodline--the bloodline of Jesus. Since the gospels that were chosen for inclusion in the Bible by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the fourth century were only those that dealt with Jesus as a divine figure (any writings about Jesus as a man were discarded and suppressed) the Bible contains no references to the personal life of Jesus. If it were the case that Jesus had been married and had fathered one or more children, this may have created a need in subsequent centuries for the Church to find and destroy any surviving descendants so that the truth of the official gospels could not be cast in doubt. Hence the search for the Holy Grail has a new meaning--one that makes new sense of historical facts. If you read The Da Vinci Code and choose to accept the message behind it, suddenly the last two thousand years of European history take on a different perspective. That is the true reason for the novel's success. The absence of any writings in the Bible about the first thirty years of Jesus' life, the ferocity with which heretical branches of Christianity were eradicated in the Middle Ages, the discovery in 1945 of the hidden Nag Hammadi manuscripts containing gospels that were banished by the early Church: all these things and more seem to slot more neatly...