"There isn't anything anywhere anymore."
A quote from the Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai. It expresses melancholy, the ritually satisfying habit of feeling that everything good has been lost. The Hungarian version is particular, in that it includes oneself in the world of good things that has been lost.
Here's a conversation with one of the receptionists at the Citadel, the castle on the hill above Budapest:
- I'm a conversation prostitute.
- People pay you to talk to them?
- How can you be a conversation prostitute if you are not paid? There must be something in it for you.
- I'm crazy. I hate talking. I'm an actor.
- Maybe you like being liked by people you don't like. Their liking is a kind of money, something valuable independent of particular people.
- And accepting that payment you know you are as lost as the rest of the world.
- At least I know it, right?
- Right. And you like knowing it. That's the real payment.