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Last Updated: Monday, 24 April 2006, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
Brown plays down Code controversy
Dan Brown
Brown said he was "really proud" of The Da Vinci Code
US author Dan Brown has said it is not up to him to address the controversies surrounding his best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code.

In a rare public appearance, he said that people should "let the biblical scholars and historians battle it out".

"It's a book about big ideas, you can love them or hate them," he told a sold-out audience of writers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

"But we're all talking about them, and that's really the point."

Sunday's talk, presented by New Hampshire Public Radio and the Music Hall of Portsmouth, was billed as the author's only public appearance before next month's release of the film version of The Da Vinci Code.

During the event Brown said he often uses a pair of gravity boots during writing, finding it easier to work out difficult plot points while dangling upside down.

The audience also learned the former English teacher wants to return to the classroom and that he rarely reads work he has completed.

If anybody would like to sue me, we have forms out back
Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code, however, was an exception. "When the galleys came back, I sat down and I read the novel start to finish in one sitting."

Making light of his recent court victory for plagiarism, Brown jokingly invited members of the audience to try their luck themselves.

"If anybody would like to sue me, we have forms out back," he said. "Just pick one up on your way out."

He also said he was "in no hurry" to write a follow-up to The Da Vinci Code, which his publisher said last week would not now be ready until 2007.

"It'll be done when it's done," he said.

The Da Vinci Code, which had sold over 40 million copies, centres on a global conspiracy surrounding the Holy Grail mythology.

It claims Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and had children, a secret bloodline that has been covered up by the Catholic Church.

Winchester Cathedral
Two scenes from the film were shot at Winchester Cathedral

In the UK, the controversy surrounding the novel is addressed in a new exhibition at Winchester Cathedral, where two scenes from the upcoming movie version were filmed.

Cracking the Code, says organisers, will offer the opportunity "to make your own mind up on The Da Vinci Code, learn about some of the mistakes in the novel and understand more about the great spiritual mystery at the heart of Christian belief".

Professor Michael Wheeler, one of the exhibition's curators, will give a talk on Monday evening discussing how critics and theologians have responded to Brown's novel.

The cathedral was reportedly paid 20,000 to appear in the film, released in the UK on 19 May.

Decoding the Da Vinci Code author
07 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Delays to latest Dan Brown novel
21 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Da Vinci in new plagiarism claim
12 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Court rejects Da Vinci copy claim
07 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Cathedral visitors charged entry
01 Mar 06 |  Hampshire

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