An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Tour guides in Paris are apparently having to field more and more questions that come from tourists who have read Dan Brown's fictional novel The Da Vinci Code. Naturally, the tour companies are seeing a new opportunity.
"We're extremely sensitive to preserving the pleasure of the book," she [tour guide Ellen McBreen] said, contemplating a wall of Leonardo masterpieces.
"Although our goal is to help people separate fact from fiction, we realize that simply correcting Brown's ideas by trotting out the traditional scholarship would be dull and horribly pretentious," McBreen added.
"The tour is intended to be an interactive discovery, a conversation."
So we are extremely sensitive to the book, she says while showing a profound insensitivity to the reality of the Leonardo masterpieces behind her. Read the whole article here and tell me if you also see that this is all simply going to reinforce the historical falsehoods Brown proposes.
I think this excerpt from the article says volumes: Naramore discovered that the Mona Lisa does not hang in the place described in the book and that Brown changed other details for expediency, but she was not upset by the inconsistencies.The whole "buzz" about the "Da Vinci Code" calls to mind a claim made by John Shelby Spong when he was the Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Newark in a book (the title of which I've forgotten, having long ago disposed of it) he wrote to explain to us why homosexuality is not a sin. In the book, he cited as a reference work Jean Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear, crediting Auel as an anthropologist (she's not); and citing her findings as evidence of a cultural approval of homosexual behavior. As in the case of the "Da Vinci Code," people take as authoritative what is clearly nothing more than a work of fiction. This begs the question of why people would exchange the light of the truth for a lie...
I still go with my original thoughts (as a writer and author of fiction and poetry) that anybody who BELIEVES what he is reading in a work of fiction needs to hire a regular shrink.
But regarding the Tourism in Paris, it doesn't surprise me. It is unfortunate that these tour guides charge exporbant amounts of money to take people around to these old Catholic Churches and the church doesn't get a dime of it.
As for what the tour guides are telling people, it sounds like they are telling people the true history behind things, but of course, you can't make money arguing with a customer, especially one that's crazy enough to believe a work of fiction, so they are also trying to be entertaining.
Without having gone on such a tour, I can say I at least certainly sympathize with the tour guide. They've got their work cut out for them.
P.S. I've often wondered why there aren't more tours explicitly oriented toward great classic works of fiction. Why aren't people looking for the room Quazimodo lived in at Notre Dame? Why aren't people looking for the spot on some Russian Railroad track where Anna Karennina steped out in front of that train? Whey aren't people looking for the vampire heardquarters of Lestat in some lost Parisian neighborhood? The appeal of this one particular novel over all great works of fiction is absurd! Dan Brown is making his money on the backs of all those people out there trying to find something else wrong with organized religion, something that they can believe in, even if it is fictional!
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