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The Controversies in the Novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown - Essay Example

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This paper "The Controversies in the Novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown" focuses on the fact that when measured by financial success, there is simply no novel like The Da Vinci Code. Released in 2003, the novel, still in hardcover-only editions, tops various bestseller lists two years later. …
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The Controversies in the Novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
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Download file to see previous pages The engine is not the revelation of hidden secrets, but in its controversial interpretations of on of the world’s most famous artworks, The Last Supper, as Gilmour explains (p. 11). The Da Vinci Code is a novel which derives its plot from an inventive interpretation of art which, despite being divorced from reality, communicates both an appreciation for art and the various meanings which art can convey.

Much of the controversy that surrounds The Da Vinci Code emerges out of the assertions at the beginning of the text that “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate” (Brown, 1). Browns claims of authenticity, which have angered Catholics and conservative Christians, adds a sense of authenticity to his text, thus rendering readers highly vulnerable to the unquestioning acceptance of his incredible interpretation of art and his subsequent presentation of it as historical truth. Indeed, the publication during the 2004-05 Christmas season of The Da Vinci Code: Special Illustrated Edition, compounds the sense of historical truth found in the text and the extent to which the novel’s relationship with art is responsible for this. Images, after all, especially within the context of visually attuned cultures, speak of truth. It is this sense of historical truth which textual references to art, compounded by the inclusion of the images in the illustrated edition, which has led both to its incredible success and to the scathing attacks of its critics.

While The Da Vinci Code may be a fictitious, as opposed to a historical novel, its persistent reference to artworks and art principles and theories bestows an aura of authenticity upon it. A case in point is its use and interpretation of the principle of divine proportions, which Langdon defines as a numerical principle:
“This number PHI … one-point-six-one-eight is a very important number in art. Who can tell me why?” Stettner tried to redeem himself. “Because it's so pretty?” Everyone laughed. “Actually … Stettner's right again. PHI is generally considered the most beautiful number in the universe” (Brown, 97).

Langdon continues to expound upon the PHI numerical principle, emphasizing that it was embraced by artists as far back as the Ancient Greeks.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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