Abo of Fossonova Quotes in The Name of the Rose
“Why,” he asked, “do you insist on speaking of criminal acts without referring to their diabolical cause?”
“Because reasoning about causes and effects is a very difficult thing, and I believe the only judge of that can be God. We are already hard put to establish a relationship between such an obvious effect as a charred tree and the lightning bolt that set fire to it, so to trace sometimes endless chains of causes and effects seems to me as foolish as trying to build a tower that will touch the sky.”
[O]nly the librarian knows, from the collocation of the volume, from its degree of inaccessibility, what secrets, what truths or falsehoods, the volume contains. Only he decides how, when, and whether to give it to the monk who requests it; sometimes he first consults me. Because not all truths are for all ears, not all falsehoods can be recognized as such by a pious soul.
The language of gems is multiform: each expresses several truths, according to the sense of the selected interpretation, according to the context in which they appear. And who decides what is the proper context? You know, my boy, for they have taught you: it is authority, the most reliable commentator of all and the most invested with prestige, and therefore with sanctity. Otherwise how to avoid the misunderstandings into which the Devil lures us?
“He wants me to leave tomorrow morning, does he? Very well, it’s his house; but by tomorrow morning I must know. I must.”
“You must? Who obliges you now?”
“No one ever obliges us to know, Adso. We must, that is all, even if we comprehend imperfectly.”