literary devices

The Lost Symbol’s Daring Interior Monologue

In Dan Brown’s long-awaited new book, we learn many things — about Freemasons, the CIA, fifteenth-century engraver Albrecht Dürer’s employment of Sudoku. But most important, we learn, as Brown asserted during the book launch last night, that “italics are underrated.” In the book, these gently tilted characters create a running interior monologue; together they form a Beckettian stream of consciousness that underlies the fast-paced thriller, proving that rushing waters, too, can run deep. Here we offer selected, italicized Thoughts — mostly those of Robert Langdon — in The Lost Symbol.

Breathe, Robert.

I woke up this morning anticipating a quiet Sunday at home … and now I’m a few minutes away from the U.S. Capitol.

I dressed for a lecture, not a four-hundred-yard downhill dash in the rain!

Someone left a mannequin hand in the Rotunda?

Holy shit.

I’ve got to get out of here.

You’re a teacher, Robert — improvise!

Who the hell wears a pocket square to the DMV?

Made it … again.

Ancient portal? Secret location underground?

A budding romance, maybe?

Who is this monster?!

The CIA? The Architect of the Capitol? Two Thirty-third-degree Masons?

An angelic electrician holding a telephone? A cherubic entomologist with a specimen box?

Change your location. Now!

Jesus Christ!

What the hell?!

I need that pyramid and capstone … and I’m running out of time.

What the … ?!

Why in the world would someone … ?

Jesus, where the hell are my clothes?

I have no idea what this means.

Do not breathe!

My God, it’s late.

Concealed within those pages, there hides a wondrous secret.

The Lost Symbol’s Daring Interior Monologue