Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Da Vinci Code Sequel: Dante, Damnation, Another D-Word

Dan Brown has a new Robert Langdon "Da Vinci" book coming out, this one again an earnest sequel. It's called Inferno, so clearly it has some roots in the politically veiled Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, but otherwise not much is known yet. So far, Langdon saved the world from impossible but still dramatic Ewan McGregor-based antimatter annihilation, and then proved a woman to be the direct descendant of Jesus of Nazareth and Mary the Magdalena.

Now, he'll prove that one pope really did end up in Hell, I guess. And Beatrice was a real person. And there's a hole in the ground in Italy that was a secret tunnel. If that last one is wrong I'll pay my friend Dean $10. Dean is a good proxy for all of you. He takes foolish bets and loves doing so.

A coworker and I got talking from this. Apparently, her daughter is in the process of preparing for the verbal defense of her dissertation, the topic being related to Opus Dei and secret societies and all the goodies Dan Brown writes so dryly about until you either fall asleep or lose track of the historical and fictitious elements in his stories.

I suggested she write for permission to access the Vatican Secret Archives, at least in passing and if only to say she had done so. It'd be cool to have that tucked under your belt when you get up in front of a gaggle of academics whose purpose is your judgement. "Oh, yes, I requested of the Vatican's secured archives materials related to my thesis, however you'll have to forgive me, I have surprisingly yet to hear back from them."

And then Robert Langdon runs into the chamber as a sniper's bullet casually pierces the air whence once you were standing, burying itself in the chest of the bald, aging historian wearing the grey tweed vest and big, round glasses who had been the first to laugh at your cute opener. As he slumped back in his chair and his associated dove for cover, Langdon's firm grip tugs on your arm, bringing the rest of you to follow out through the stacks and out onto the busy evening streets of Rue Sainte Catherine de Medici.


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