Travels with Dan Brown

In the opening pages of his 2003 blockbuster The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown famously contends that “all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” A decade later, a similarly ludicrous claim to historical accuracy appears on the first page of Inferno. He writes: “Fact: All artwork, literature, science, and historical references in this novel are real.” I find the use of the word fact particularly charming.

What should we make of such insistence as the lead salvo in a work of fiction? It is both immediately irresistible and patently absurd. Fact: I’m powerless to say precisely what he means by it—or why he would make such a disingenuous remark. Imagine a narrator stating at the beginning of an Edgar Allan Poe tale: “Fact: Everything you are about to read is true.”


This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.