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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • June 22, 2006


    [48] The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

    Reading The Da Vinci Code is entertaining and breath-taking. I am floored by the riveting story that I turned the pages unusually quickly. The intrigue, menace, and intelligent twist of the story compensate the poor writing, which is ridden with cliche and disjointed, abrupt ad lib comments. Dan Brown certainly deserves credit for an amazing (not sure if it is genius like some critics have deemed) tale with enigma piled on secrets stacked on (word scrabbling) riddles. The novel is thoroughly researched, sources of which include the Louvre Museum and Paris's Bibliotheque nationale, and all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals are accurate. The mystery revolves around two important but esoteric historical facts:

    1. The Priory of Sion, a very old secret covert brotherhood that was known for its fascination for goddess iconology, paganism, and feminine deities, founded the Knights Templar to retrieve a collection of secret documents revealing an explosive historical secret

    2. Da Vinci was a member of this secret society and he was among the few who were savvy of this secret, which involved the Holy Grail and Mary Magdelene. Not only do the Dead Sea Scrolls and Coptic Scrolls confirm this secret, they also provide clues to the location of the Holy Grail. Da Vinci laid the secret of this mysterious chalice, which symbolizes the womb (womanhood and fertility) out in his art work.

    These are the last clues Jacques Sauniere left for symbologist Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu. The elderly curator of the Louvre Museum had been murdered inside the gallery showcasing the famous Mona Lisa with a baffling cipher found next to his body. Obviously the curator, who was Sophie's grandfather, during the last few minutes of his life had summoned all his energy to arrange his body in a fashion that created a life-sized replica of the Vitruvian Man. He was revealing the key to the secret of the secret society to Langdon and Neveu. Series of word game, numeric cipher, and riddles were only prelude to a hidden message laden in the layers of paint. It becomes obvious that the curator was associated with the Priory of Sion and was the guardian of the secret the Church has contrived to hide.

    I can understand why the novel stirs such an incredible gale of controversy. It touches on very sensitive materials and information that threaten the faith of many and most importantly, jolts the foundation that has inveterately shaped the face of Christianity as we know it today. Whatever the truth might be, after all, The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction, and if we look at all the major religions today, every faith is more or less based on fabrication. We accept what we can imagine from metaphysical allegory. Faith is acceptance and trust of that which we cannot prove. The beauty of Da Vinci Code lies not in the language, but in showing how world, even over a chronological distance, is a web of profoundly intertwined histories and events.

    Now I'm ready for the movie.


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    okay. For the information, Dan Brown's book, "The Da Vinci Code" was extremely idiotic for several reasons. One, Jesus was not married! How stupid can you get? HELLO! If Dan Brown was so interested in writing books, I suggest that he went and read one. It's called the Bible.
    Two, he starts the book out by saying, "This is all based on fact" or whatever crap he tries to feed us. My suggestion? Go check out a Robert Ludlum.

    6/22/2006 1:10 PM  
    Blogger halliegirlconnected said...

    this could be a great piece of fiction, but not fact.

    (this is a continuation of the comment above)
    p.s. no disrespect intended, but seriously. Don't waste your time on the movie.

    6/22/2006 1:12 PM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Hmmm...interesting comment. The novel seems to have stirred up controversy everywhere it's mentioned! I was exposed to literature about how Jesus was married (and other relative subjects like the Holy Grail, Mary Magdelene...) back when I was an has been target of research for decades. My point is not to take the novel so serious as it is only meant to be a work of fiction.

    I am skeptical about the bible--the authorship, the completeness, the perspective on homosexuality.

    6/22/2006 7:29 PM  
    Blogger Robert said...

    Excuse me Matt, but exactly which version of the Bible are you talking about? haha! Personally, I didn't read the book or saw the movie, or read a single verse from the Bible... and so far, I can say my life's pretty decent. :-)

    Everybody has an opinion - on something, eh? Welcome back my friend. Hope you had a wonderful trip!! Pictures soon? Would love to see them!!!

    Happy Friday sweetie.

    6/23/2006 7:01 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Has anyone heard about a new documentary coming out with Priory of Sion interviews and new information?

    6/26/2006 3:20 PM  

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