The Da Vinci Code

Wow. Phenomenal read. I could scarcely put this down. I won’t say the characters were especially well-drawn or memorable, with the exception of Sir Leigh Teabing. What I mean by that, is any characters might have been chucked into this story, and it would have moved as well. Maybe that device allows the reader to feel like a character? It was much more plot-driven. And what a plot. I had heard all this before, but to see it put together the way Dan Brown has done… it really made me think. I’m still thinking.

SPOILER! Read no further if you have plans to read the book…

As I read, I was proud of myself during the moments when I was ahead of the characters. I figured out the backwards writing code on the rosewood box immediately upon seeing it. “Atbash” gave me trouble though, because it meant nothing to me. As soon as Langdon stepped into the garden with fruit trees, I realized the orb missing from Newton’s tomb was an apple. Other times I was so slow at figuring stuff out, I kicked myself. The most obvious instance was when Rémy was killed. Even after the detail about the emergency tracheotomy was planted and the fact that the cognac was salty, I didn’t guess peanuts in the cognac killed him. I thought it was poison, and that the Teacher didn’t really take a drink of the cognac. So obvious! I figured out that Teabing might be the Teacher, but my stronger candidate was actually Fache. I think Brown wanted me to go down that wrong path. And I was sure Fache was trying to trick Sophie when he told her that she and Langdon had been cleared.

Actually, I quite liked Teabing. He was a fun character. It really surprised me that he did turn out to be evil. I guess because he was so likable. Another trick of Dan Brown’s?

I have pored over Dan Brown’s site, completing both the old and new web quests and looking at the works of art. How many times have I seen The Last Supper and never noticed the disciple to the right of Jesus was a woman? Or at the least, a feminine-looking man? I could kick myself. My granny has depictions of this work of art wrought in every gaudy and tacky way imaginable, from clocks to velvet-Elvis-style painting, hanging all over her house. I’ve seen the painting I don’t know how many times. I’ve actually studied the painting, not merely glanced at it. I’ve also never noticed the threatening gesture made by Peter, nor the disembodied hand wielding a dagger. It is utterly fascinating. You should check this out: Resources for The Da Vinci Code and click on “Interactive Last Supper from The New York Times“. You can read some discourse about Dan Brown’s theory at About.com’s Art History site. Shelley Esaak makes some valid points. I don’t know. It seems the more I read, the more questions I have.

Is it heresy to believe Jesus might have been married?

One of the most enduring mysteries to me is how certain texts became biblical canon and others became heretical apocrypha. Who decided what the truth was? How? And why? I’ve clearly got some more reading to do.

Who was Mary Magdalene? I don’t know. I wish I could find my Wuest. I just feel I need to see the original, and not some translation I don’t trust. Wuest is as close as I’m going to get without learning Greek.

Today, I visit Amazon, who graciously shares its recommendations with me. Today, my list was the following books:

Why were these books recommended to me? I clicked the little link next to the light bulb, because going to the site and seeing those recommendations freaked me out. Ah. Because several years ago, (April 30, 2000, according to my order history) I order a book called Rosslyn by Tim Wallace-Murphy and Marilyn Hopkins for my ex-husband. I’ve never read the book. He asked me to order it with some other books I was ordering, so I did. And today, on this day when I’m pondering these thoughts, a book I ordered for someone else, a book I’ve never read, is prompting Amazon to induce in me a most bizarre paranoia.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12,13

Does this indeed mean I need to complete, finish, manifest my faith in salvation and bring it to its ultimate conclusion? Or does it mean I need to figure out what I believe?

In the Greek apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, Jesus said “Let him who seeks not cease until he finds, and when he finds he shall wonder.” These words resonate with me today.

I need to leave you now. I have some wondering to do.

One thought on “The Da Vinci Code

  1. Wow. Great post. 🙂 I inhaled Da Vinci Code in two days and have since sent it out on a mini bookring on Bookcrossing (just my mother in law and one more person). I read it back in January, so you remember the characters better than I do. Hub and I were at the mall shortly thereafter and we looked at a really bad reproduction of TLS in some store. The dagger had been taken out, the hand was connected to one of the disciples, and the color coordination between Mary and Jesus had been changed. Whoever did that one should be smacked around for doing such a poor job. I also saw a Da Vinci calendar with little pieces of Virgin at the Rocks (wasn't that the title?) with a closeup of John but the title naming him Jesus. Made me laugh.

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