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My Only Hope

The dust cover to Dan Brown’s sequel to The DaVinci Code promises a story about a “prominent Mason” who is “brutally kidnapped”. Has anyone ever, I wonder, been tenderly kidnapped?

This book, The Lost Symbol is supposed to be all about the secrets of the Freemasons. Of course, the secrets of the Freemasons are, you know, secret. If they’re published in The Lost Symbol, then they really aren’t secrets, are they? Whatever’s in The Lost Symbol is either the pretend secrets of the Freemasons or just the obscure details of the Freemasons. Either way, The Lost Symbol isnot really likely to earth-shattering.

Still, I’m going to read the book this weekend, because I’m feeling in the mood to have my mind puree for a while, rather than being shattered.

“Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter…” says the dust cover. Children’s adventures and politicians’ foreign policies seem to center around the idea that there is just one “only hope”. The real challenges of life involve many hopes, and many dooms, and the choice between them is more about what we want than about what we must do.

I’d like to see Dan Brown write about the symbolism of that kind of adventure. But then, if he were to do that, hero Robert Langdon might have to admit that the symbols he sees are have a whole lot of alternative meanings, and it’s usually impossible which to say which meaning is appropriate for the moment.

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