Friday, September 24, 2004

More on Da Vinci

Only last week I pointed out that the central plot element of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code is not an original idea. (Not that Brown, to my knowledge, ever claimed that it was.) The novel asks us to believe that Jesus Christ fathered a child by Mary Magdalene. In my post of 17 September, I pointed out that this idea is to be found in The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982, originally) by Michael Baigent et al. And probably in lots of other places as well, I said, dating back centuries.

And today, book2book provides a link to Publishing News which reveals that Baigent and his co-authors are considering suing Brown for 'breach of copyright of ideas and research'. So you see, if you want to stay ahead of the news, all you have to do is read the GOB.

Personally, I reckon that the chances of Baigent et al succeeding are close to zero. As I said in my first post, I suspect that the Jesus/Mary bit is as old as the hills. My guess is that Dan Brown's lawyer will be able to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the idea of Jesus having a child by this woman first appears in written form in the work of Dionysius Exiguus (known to his friends as Short-arsed Denis).

Short-arsed Denis was the clown who fucked up the calendar by getting his dates wrong. So it turns out that Jesus was actually born in 4 or 5 BC, give or take a bit. (See The Calendar by David Ewing Duncan for details.)

What is more, my guess is that Dan Brown's lawyer, not being any sort of slouch, will be able to demonstrate, beyond a peradventure, possibly by producing Methuselah as a witness, that the idea of Jesus being a dad goes back further still, to about 32 AD (depending on whether you believe Denis or not). What happened was, see, there were these two blokes in a pub in Jerusalem:
1st bloke: 'Ere, you know this Jesus of Nazareth....

2nd bloke: Yeah, what about 'im?

1st bloke: Do you reckon 'e's gay?

2nd bloke: Nah. No chance.

1st bloke: But 'e's got these twelve very close mates.

2nd bloke: Yeah, but that's all a cover-up.

1st bloke: Is it?

2nd bloke: Yeah. There's this bird, see, oo's no better than
she ought to be....
Like I say, if you want to stay ahead of the news, read the GOB. Just so long as the news you are interested in dates from 32 AD, or thereabouts.

Later note: Actually, it would not be Methuselah who was called as a witness. It would be Ahasuerus, aka the Wandering Jew.

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