Why We Love History

August 4th, 2004 · 1 Comment
by Booksquare

Our fascination with The DaVinci Code comes not from the book itself (though we were shocked to discover it weighs in at 600 pages — we had no clue, which is a testament to the pacing), but the reaction to the book. We recently met a man who told us we were wrong about history; he asserted that history is concrete, unmoveable. What you see is what you get. There are no variables. Especially when that history is captured by film or photographs.

“But what about,” we wondered, “the person standing just outside the picture? What do they see?” It is with no small amount of pride that we report he changed the subject. The DaVinci Code is a work of fiction (this is a subject we may return to later today, time providing). There are many works about this particular view of history. But the heart and soul of this book is, well, that it’s fiction. Debunking fiction is a dicey business — how do you argue against something that may not be factual to begin with? More importantly, how do you know the story behind the story unless you were there?

And even if you were, how can you be sure your version is the right one?

  • A code for dark times: The modern world is a terrifying place. Small wonder adults are taking refuge in fantastical and mystical novels

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1 response so far ↓

  • Lorra // Aug 4, 2004 at 7:17 pm

    So how fictional is a story that is inspired by a true story and supported by meticulous research? Is it really fiction? Is it better described as fact-based fiction? Or is it it non-fiction that has been distorted to protect the innocent, and more importantly, the writer? Is this whole thing a continuum?