The Corner

More Da Vinci

Good points, Jonah.  Still, I’m not sure popularity explains it all.  The Narnia series has always been popular, but many liberal reviewers seemed bent out of shape when it was made into a film.  There were lots of attacks on Lewis, as I recall.  True, Hollywood was happy to ride the Narnia money wave.  Yet as I understand it, it took Hollywood outsiders with a more conservative bent to get the film made to begin with.  What’s interesting, given the Narnia books’ obvious popularity, is that Hollywood insiders didn’t seize on it by themselves.  I don’t doubt that many religious and conservative folks read and enjoyed TDV as a pure thriller.  Still, I also think the popularity of the book says something about where we are as a culture.  America may be more religious than Europe, but the number of folks who see themselves as unconnected to any organized religion is on the rise here, especially in blue cities and counties.  I suspect a lot of the audience for the book was made up of folks who are either secular, or amenable to attacks on traditional religious types.  So the Narnia film and The Da Vinci Code are both genuinely popular, and each taps into a different side of our culture war.  Hollywood had to be pushed to do the one, while it naturally took to the other.

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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