Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Catholic Church in 'No Concept Of Irony' Shock

“It astonishes and worries me that so many people believe these lies. The book is everywhere. There is a very real risk that many people who read it will believe that the fables it contains are true.” - Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop of Genoa

I must say, this surprised me. Has a senior member of the Catholic Church really decided to come clean and tell the truth about the Bible? Alas, no, for he was talking about another work of fiction that’s been selling by the truckload over the last of year or so – The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

Now, I’ve read this book and it is rubbish. Very entertaining rubbish, admittedly, but rubbish all the same. Dan Brown has a very prosaic writing style. His characterisation is weak and his narrative is execrable. However, he knows how to craft a thriller and I enjoyed whizzing through the five hundred pages or so. I thought it was an interesting idea (we all like a good conspiracy, don’t we?) and it was a entertaining read. I won’t be reading any of his other books though, I assure you.

Even more entertaining have been the reports from France about clueless (mostly American) tourists visiting Paris with a copy of the book as their tour guide, often unaware that all events in the book are fictitious. Oh, people. As if the French needed any more reason to hate Americans or be rude to tourists. Still, they’ll take the money anyway I’m sure.

But I digress. Our friend the Cardinal is going to hold a seminar called Story Without History to refute the claims made in Brown's novel. He wants to “unmask the lies” so readers can see how “shameful and unfounded” the book is. Pretty rich from someone representing an organisation which bases its entire beliefs on a book of apocryphal stories, don’t you think? Not only that, but a book that doesn’t even have a definitive version: it's spawned numerous faiths, none of which agree with each other and, more often than not, have been prepared to kill over. A book of questionable origin, missing scriptures and contradictory passages. Yet Mr Cardinal wants to defend his church against the charges of lying and deceiving, and does so with a straight face.

Welcome to the Vatican – an irony free zone. Please drive carefully.


Anonymous said...

The irony is that by attacking the book in such a manner he will give it more credence that it ever deserved. Now if he'd come out and said 'heh read it last night, entertaining piece of fiction that, but of course its all fiction' and had a little laugh with reporters nobody who'd give a damn.
Makes you wonder his exact motive behind this outburst. Grandstanding for an upcoming papal election perhaps? (well we are talking conspiracies aren't we?)

Anonymous said...

I apologise for the above crimes to the English language. My internet dyslexia is in full force.
who'd = would! Dear god I need help.

Ms Jones said...

I think i spent the entire book oscillating between enjoying it and hating it. He is a rubbish writer, as in he is sensationalist and has terrible grammar. But he does tell a good story.

Citizen Sane said...

I agree. He should have said (in Italian of course): "Tell you what, that Dan Brown's a poor writer isn't he? I mean, good story and all, but I've never read such hackneyed dialogue. What a load of old cack." Would have killed the issue there and then.

Anon - you're not the only one to consider an imminent papal election. . .

Ms Jones - Welcome! Would you (have you) read any of his other books? I picked one of them up (can't remember which) in a bookshop once and read the first page. It was EXACTLY the same beginning as The Da Vinci Code!

DB said...

Dunno about Ms, but I read 'Angels and Demons' and it was pure page turning trash. Completely brainless and of course extremely readable because of that.

Claypot said...

Well said. It never ceases to amaze me how religious leaders can be so stupid. 'Woo woo don't read TDVC, it's a story, it's not true'. Yeah, and the Bible? Come on.

Ms Jones said...

I read angels and demons too. Was "better", as in more readable, than the Da Vinci Code. Still a crock of shite though. Then i read his other two and they weren't even interesting. I scoffed all the way through. I was given his entire collection for christmas.