Hannah: Is there anything in it?
Valentine: In what? We are all doomed? Oh yes, sure – it's called the second law of thermodynamics.
Hannah: Was it known about?
Valentine: By poets and lunatics from time immemorial.
Valentine: No. (2.5)
Hannah: Don't you see? I thought my hermit was a perfect symbol. An idiot in the landscape. But this is better. The Age of Enlightenment banished into the Romantic wilderness! The genius of Sidley Park living on in a hermit's hut!
Valentine: You don't know that.
Hannah: Oh, but I do. I do. Somewhere there will be something . . . if only I can find it. (2.5)
Hannah: It's all trivial – your grouse, my hermit, Bernard's Byron. Comparing what we're looking for misses the point. It's wanting to know that makes us matter. Otherwise we're going out the way we came in. That's why you can't believe in the afterlife, Valentine. Believe in the after, by all means, but not the life. Believe in God, the soul, the spirit, the infinite, believe in angels if you like, but not in the great celestial get-together for an exchange of views. If the answers are in the back of the book I can wait, but what a drag. Better to struggle on knowing that failure is final. (2.7)