Off Campus

07 June 2006

Re: Code and the good book

So the DaVinci Code, first the book, and now the movie, and coming soon: the breakfast cereal (but not on Sunday Please!!!) has got all these churchy folk up in arms about what really happened in the bible, and how the movie doesn't portray the good book in such a good way.

Being good and proper Americans, we at the OC have read the book (Mr Brown's, not the King James(es) but I'm sure we have one around here somewhere), seen the movie, and are in the process of re-exploring the book, via the wonder of the textbook like Illustrated version in an effort to really grasp the nature of what has caused all this hoo-hah and hub-bub.

Just to show how misperceptions and unintentional alterations have come about these past 2000 years though the childhood telephone like game of retranslation on down through the millennia - which is inevitable for any book first written in anything other than English. To reverse engineer the process, we started at the beginning with the Book of Genesis (which apparently was written long before Phil Collins took over for Peter Gabriel as lead singer) translated it back into French (through the miracles of the Babel Fish (and the snappy berets we're wearing), and then into German, Italian, Espanol, Finnish (but we didn't stop there), Spanish, and finally back into English just to see what we came up with, and show how some of the mistranslations could be accidentally misconstrued.

What began as:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.
God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light!
God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day.

Turned into:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was a dark and stormy night, with the lights out it's less dangerous, here we are now entertain us. I feel stupid and contagious, here we are now entertain us. A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido. Yea!

- and there you have it.