English doesn't allow double negatives, right? A double negative is actually a positive, yes? So if I "don't never" use double negatives I actually do because I do not never use them.
Remembering this rather logical lesson from grammar has helped me classify the genre of Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code. Currently, no one can agree if DaCode is fiction or non-fiction. Brown claims it is fiction - as do many of the book's naysayers. However, Brown also prefaces the book with a "fact" page that intends to root the fictional adventures of Robert Langdon within a factual setting. So, is DaCode fact or fiction?
I read Dan Brown's claim of fiction as a double negative. The first negative is the "fact" page which has very little basis in fact. The second negative is the claim that Dan Brown intended to write fiction. He has said on an ABC interview that if he had written the book as non-fiction he would have changed none of the details of the conspiracy and historical interpretation. This makes it hard to classify the genre of DaCode, but I propose we create a new genre for DaCode and its ilk: pseudo-fiction. A pseudo-fiction is "false-false." It is false fiction; which means, according to the rule of double negative, it is non-fiction. Note that I did not say it was true or fact. We have no such category when it comes to literature, unless you include reference materials. However, reference materials and non-fiction works are subject to scrutiny.
The point of proposing the "pseudo-fiction" genre is to get around the claim of Brown and others that DaCode is "just fiction." It isn't fair to simply claim that something is fiction when it pretends to be more. Is it really justifiable for anyone to write a slanderous tale about a public figure and then try to claim that it is "just fiction." That defense is offered by children on the playground who apologize for their malicious actions by retorting, "I'm just joking!"
DaCode is not "just fiction." It makes more claims than "just fiction" and so it is subject to the same scrutiny as non-fiction. That shouldn't bother Dan Brown though. As fiction, DaCode is a bore. As pseudo-fiction, the book has generated worthwhile conversation about non-fictional subjects of lasting importance.