Fiction Better Than Pseudo History

Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco

See through the cult, beware of popularity, steer away from the crowd, swim up river, break through to the other side… THINK FOR YOURSELF.

It’s a long journey figuring out one’s environment, aka figuring out the time and space that is you. One of the conclusions I’ve made in this journey is this: the Christian and Anglo-Saxon world that has reared me is not something I will recommend or praise to the aliens when they finally arrive to save us from ourselves (or watch us suffer our last breath). Of course, my journey of the three D’s — discovery, destitute, and the ultimate deliverance — has not ended, even though more than half of life is over. Therefore. Read. Read well. Read lots.

When life is fully over at least I can claim that I was able to find a cool, real world example of conspiracy theory (or the like) being out-done by reality. The reality, in this case, is a book of fiction written by the great Umberto Eco called “Foucault’s Pendulum”. Obviously, it is silly of me to try and compare this brilliant piece of work/art to something proclaimed to be a pseudo history and something else that is nothing but a work of plagiarism. But I will do it, in brief, all the same.

I’m a sucker for good writing. Combine that with a great story… I’m head over heels, baby! I’m not afraid to admit that the pseudo history and conspiracy theory par excellence “Holy Blood Holy Grail” whipped me off my feet. I read the thing in two and half days. I loved the way the books three authors intertwined journalism and story telling about a subject matter that, with an open mind, can be quite titillating. Holy Blood, Holy Grail, btw, is openly referred to as a pseudo-history. Which only makes me ask: why isn’t Dan Brown’s plagiarism of it referred to as a pseudo-novel? Anywho.

At the time, due to the popularity of the Jesus legacy subject matter, I ended up filling my thirst for knowledge — regarding why people were so fascinated with the heritage of a man that was supposedly born of a virgin but potentially might find vengeance in maybe, just maybe, fathering a deity child of his own — by reading most of the secondary literature Dan Brown plagiarized, including Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

Long story short. After I read a small library of stuff on the whole Jesus-life and associated myths, I read Eco’s brilliant Foucault’s Pendulum. Upon completion I read in an article that this wonderful book, in certain circles, is known as the thinking man’s Da Vinci Code. I was so proud because something in me picked the right book to read and not just the popular one. Eco is able to take a century old idear and myth and make something pure and truthful out of it simply by making his fiction original and unique – as opposed to Brown who steals, regurgitates and writes for the popularity not of his readers but for his greedy publishers.

Here a quote from Eco that might be of interest (source Wiki):

Asked whether he had read the Brown novel, Eco replied:

I was obliged to read it because everybody was asking me about it. My answer is that Dan Brown is one of the characters in my novel Foucault’s Pendulum, which is about people who start believing in occult stuff.

– But you yourself seem interested in the kabbalah, alchemy and other occult practices explored in the novel.

No. In Foucault’s Pendulum I wrote the grotesque representation of these kind of people. So Dan Brown is one of my creatures.

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Rant (and read) on.

-Tommi-