Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dan Brown and Dante: Exposing the Clues

I was happy to read a story in The Independent about the forthcoming book inspired by Dante from Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown.  To be called Inferno, Brown says his new book will
...take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm, a landscape of codes, symbols, and more than a few secret passageways.
Inferno will feature the return of Da Vinci Code culture de-mystify-er and professional Harvard Symbologist (Symbologist?) Robert Langdon, who as usual will penetrate a semiotic labyrinth of conspiring global elites, slay miscellaneous political minotaurs, and enjoy the museums and restaurants of Florence as readers become "entwined in a mystery that has global ramifications tied to the ominous and truly mesmerizing details of Dante’s masterful work."

While I am pleased to anticipate that Mr. Brown's effort will promote appreciation for Dante amongst the "general public" and the "popular readership", I remain mystified by the sub-sub-passageways underlying his labyrinthine assumption.  That is, with so many clever Harvard Symbologists running around, why do global elites (particularly, as Mr. Brown suggests, elites from the Italian peninsula) have this compelling need to cast bizarre and self-exposing riddles into the wake of cultural history?

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