Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Robert Anton Wilson: An influence on Dan Brown?

From SF book editor Jim Frenkel:

"I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Dan Brown, and movies like National Treasure were inspired by the Illuminatus! trilogy and other books that were inspired by some of the same earlier source material."

And Lance Bauscher, director of the "Maybe Logic" movie, says, "This whole DaVinci Code thing with Dan Brown, I mean, that's all Bob's material."

Some background: Dan Brown is of course the enormously successful author of The Da Vinci Code and other books. The Da Vinci Code, which came out in 2003, draws heavily on Holy Blood. Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. Robert Anton Wilson referenced Holy Blood, Holy Grail long before The Da Vinci Code; for example, the book is quoted at the beginning of RAW's 1982 novel, The Earth Will Shake.

Brown's Angels and Demons includes the Illuminati in the plot. The Lost Symbol involves the freemasons. There is a general tone in Brown's works of dealing with secret societies.

Brown was sued for plagiarism by Baigent and Leigh, but not Lincoln. Brown, who had been quite open and honest about the influence of Holy Blood on his own book, won the suit. (The people who sued him can only be described as ingrates, because Brown's book gave a big boost to their own.) I would guess this experience would make it even less likely that Brown would acknowledge Robert Anton Wilson's influence, if there was one.


4 comments:

supergee said...

I haven't read The Da Vinci Chode, but it certainly sounds like The Widow's Son dumbed way down.

michael said...

I recently read that Lebanon banned Da Vinci Code for being offensive to Christians.

I disagree that it's The Widow's Son dumbed way down. I think it's dumbed way way WAY down.

Ironically: RAW would've loved to have sold 10 million copies of a novel like Brown did. RAW's problem was he that he was incapable of writing simply enough for (m)ass "taste."

Royal Academy of Reality 1132 said...

I enjoyed The DaVinci Code. I suspect Brown read RAW.

One of the guidebooks to Angels and Demons includes an interview with RAW. I read the interview in Walmart. I enjoyed seeing a book with RAW material on sale in Walmart.

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