Beckett was addicted to silences, and so was Joyce; they engaged in conversations which consisted often of silences directed towards each other, both suffused with sadness, Beckett mostly for the world, Joyce mostly for himself. Joyce sat in his habitual posture, legs crossed, toe of the upper leg under the instep of the lower; Beckett, also tall and slender, fell into the same gesture. Joyce suddenly asked some such question as, 'How could the idealist Hume write a history?' Beckett replied, 'A history of representations.' Joyce said nothing, but some time afterwards he informed the young man, 'The only amateur philosopher of any value I know is Carducci.' Later, 'For me,' he said, 'there is only one alternative to scholasticism, scepticism.' - Richard Ellmann, James Joyce

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