Florence – Yesterday afternoon, the Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the Five Hundred) was full of passionate readers as well as the merely curious: the fascinating subject and the congeniality of Dan Brown gave the audience a really interesting event.
Dan Brown was a special guest of ”The Republic of Ideas. Looking to the Future”, a big event organized in Florence by La Repubblica, the most popular Italian newspaper. More precisely, Dan Brown had a talk with Italian journalist Vittorio Zucconi about Our Need For Mystery.
Here is how things went . . .
Vittorio Zucconi asked Dan Brown,
Do you believe in what you write?
Absolutely yes, answers Dan Brown.
I only write books that I’d like to read.
Thus begins a great debate in which we discover the most interesting aspects of Dan Brown’s work.
For the writer, the need for mystery is part of human nature.
Our mind wants to explain such traumatic events as the Twin Towers attack or the murder of Kennedy and therefore sometimes imagines conspiracies.
Believing that certain events are the result of individual sick minds does not satisfy our need to know and to have explanations.
This is why Dan Brown is fascinated by Christianity and by the mysterious power of tradition.
The admiration for Dante is a result of such fascination. And, in fact, Dante has “furnished” Christianity and built the idea of Heaven and Hell that we have today.
Dan Brown considers Dante his greatest source of inspiration, and he is proud to talk to the general public.
His language, often criticized, is deliberately simple and direct, to be understood by all, as was the language used by Dante. Writing is meant to convey ideas and to be understood.
In fact, with his books, Dan Brown tries to ask questions, not provide solutions.
My readers are smart and clever, and I leave to them the task of concluding the story.
Even Inferno does not have a classic final ending but leaves open the question that the reader must solve: where is the line between Good and Evil?
The problem of global population arises in Inferno, a very current but inexplicably underestimated question.
A recent news story says that one-third of the world’s food resources are wasted, so why do we not ask the question from this point of view?
In Inferno, Evil suggests a different solution . . .
Without revealing too much about his latest book, which someone in the room admits to not having read yet, Dan Brown says that scenes of violence or sex are reduced to a minimum.
In all his novels, everything has to be functional to the story, and nothing is written to create sensation. In Angels & Demons, there were many more scenes of violence.
Then Dan Brown says that he owes a large debt to Italian literature, which gave him inspiration.
He says his Inferno is a “love letter” to Florence and Italy, as he admires their beauty, history, and creativity.
After the discussion, attendees have new questions to ask and new mysteries to investigate.
Dan Brown concludes by saying that creativity is something that you cannot force and something that in situations where it is repressed often gives the best of itself.
But this is not true in his case because he feels that he is a very lucky man, as he can write in freedom and is convinced that the secret of success is to do your best every day.
So thank Dan Brown for showing us the soul of your latest book and your creativity, which never ceases to invite us to investigate life!
Mysterious shadows in the Salone dei Cinquecento …