The Name of the Rose : Plot hole?

Plot hole?

I can't remember if this has been explained elsewhere. Kill me if it has.

I've seen this movie at least 10 times over the years and always loved it completely and thought of it as perfect, if not for a single puzzling thing that might be a huge plot hole... if Jorge is so afraid of Aristotle's second book of poetics, why didn't he burn it instead of poisoning the pages? Surely, hiding this book means enough for him to kill people, so it can't just be sentimental reasons that keeps him from destroying it completely.

And also...

Opposite "Tragedy" which is covered in the real historical first book of poetics, which is a model for telling stories through bad examples, "Comedy" in ancient Greece, and particularly to Aristotle was not an intrument of satire, but a type of story structure that sets a good moral example. Had Aristotle ever gotten around to writing this book, it would most likely have contained nothing about laughing at the gods, but rather contained a guide to writing stories about brave heroes.

Re: Plot hole?

I think he didn't destroy the book because it was too precious even to him, but he wanted to punish all those who wanted to read it, so in his mind he left the choice to the monks. If they were pure and afraid of God, they wouldn't dare to even touch it, but if they were curious, it showed the "spoiled mind" so they deserved to die.
Now I don't remember if there were any explanations in the book, it's been some 20 years since I read it.

"I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it."

Re: Plot hole?

The question of why Jorge did not secretly destroy the book is, indeed, left unanswered by the movie. I raised that exact same question in a "User Comment" posted in August 2005 ("Noble Effort; Partial Success").

I think the explanation offered by Dreamwork15 makes a lot of sense, but it is an explanation left completely silent in the film. I honestly do not remember if this point came up in the book or not.

Re: Plot hole?

Jorge didn't burn the book, because his duty was to preserve the books in the library. In the book it is also not revealed why Jorge did not burn the book, but something else is pointed out - Jorge was a librarian. But because of his blindness (acquired through age), he could not perform his duties. So a new librarian was elected - Malachia. But Jorge continued to perform his duty - protecting the library and hiding the books. So he could not burn the book, but he could punish the curiosity of the ones who read it - by death. Also, Jorge was the one who brought the book to the abbey's library, so maybe he didn't want to destroy one of his greatest achievements - getting the only left copy of the Aristotle's second book of "Poetics".

Re: Plot hole?

Actually, it is mentioned in the book. William says to Jorge: "Because somebody like you does not destroy books." This shows that Jorge has a love-hate relationship with the book. He loved books. He collected many books and, as Alinardus states "even knew the language of the infidels (i.e. Arabic)" Jorge was a true librarian with a vast knowledge, unlike Malachy, the "dimwhit", als he calls him at one point. Of course, this is only in the book.

Re: Plot hole?

You are correct. He would rather put his soul in peril than destroy a book by Aristotle. He really believed that what he was doing was right.

Re: Plot hole?

Further, in the film it is made clear that Jorge draws a clear distinction between preserving knowledge and disseminating it. It's enough that the books exist, even if no one can ever read them.

"If I have any genius it is a genius for living" - Errol Flynn

Re: Plot hole?

But really, wasn't ancient Greek comedy often satire as well? Aristophanes made a lot of satire, albeit from a conservative point of view (he made fun of "radicals" like Socrates and Euripides), unlike the humor of today, which mostly is the other way around. Tragedies were supposed to teach the audience lessons, but comedies were just supposed to amuse people, just like today. And for this reason, tragedies were also considered a superior art form to comedies.

Intelligence and purity.

Re: Plot hole?

Interesting point, furienna.

It's great to see some of these old threads come back to life now and then.

Like a library book that gets checked out again after sitting on the shelf for a while...

Re: Plot hole?

I always likened Jorge's "Relationship" with the book to Gollum/Bilbo/Frodo and the Ring.

I'm only half Troll....on my mothers side.

Re: Plot hole?

Very good question.

There are 3 possibilities:
He felt it's his duty to preserve every book (our job is to keep the knowledge preserved not to expanded it).
He fell in love with what he hated the most and this caused him to understand the "power" of the book. Too valuable (to him) to destroy, yet too dangerous to be available to the general public.
He wanted to make sure that no one breaks the "don't read these" rule so he used it to kill those who break into the library to read.

Re: Plot hole?

It showed a lot of other dubious scrolls and books that were hidden and perserved. Images of a womans womb and fetus and also something that look like information about werewolves?. There was a huge cashe of bannded books there., it seemed like.

Re: Plot hole?

Remember the speech that Jorge gave from the pulpit. He talked about it being their duty to preserve knowledge, for the sake of divinity, but not to attempt to understand or use it, because that was futile, sinful, and prideful (empty vanity). He wanted to preserve the book, but not to read or think about it.
Top