Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

The Da Vinci Code

Sunday, November 28, 2004
In a fit of procrastination, I spent the last hour franticly flipping though the last hundred pages of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Initially I was a bit sceptical at the idea I'd really enjoy this book, but now it's finished I can say it's an excellent read and, more impressively, engages with the politics of gender representation in such a direct and provocative way that I'm sure it has amazing utility both as a conversation starter and a useful teaching tool (helped along by the fact that it's been at the top of the book-sales charts for months now!). Of course, it's main joy was in the reading and while I shan't write much since so much of the pleasure comes from a very clever and intricate mystery plot, my favourite two quotes might illustrate a little of why I enjoyed it so much. Firstly:
"... Jesus was the original feminist. He intended for His Church to be in the hands of Mary Magdalene." [248]
And secondly, with a tad more humour:
Inside the Range Rover, Leigh Teabing let out a guffaw. "Robert, you're saying you wrote a manuscript that delves into a secret society, and your editor sent a copy to that secret society?"
Langdon slumped. "Evidently." [290]
If you're not sure if you'll enjoy the book, try reading the free excerpt which contains the first few chapters (be warned: you'll get hooked and have to go out and buy it).

Finally, I wondered how much of the politics that I read into the book was intentional. Reading Dan Brown's FAQ for The Da Vinci Code leaves me with a lot of respect for what he has achieved:
THIS NOVEL IS VERY EMPOWERING TO WOMEN. CAN YOU COMMENT?
Two thousand years ago, we lived in a world of Gods and Goddesses. Today, we live in a world solely of Gods. Women in most cultures have been stripped of their spiritual power. The novel touches on questions of how and why this shift occurred?and on what lessons we might learn from it regarding our future.

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