I know those little phrases that seem so innocuous and, once you let them in, pollute the whole of speech. Nothing is more real than nothing. They rise up out of the pit and know no rest until they drag you down into its dark.
~ Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies
In the intro to his essay collection titled On Nothing and Kindred Subjects (I’ve quoted it before), Hillaire Belloc asks about Nothing: “Is it not that which Mankind, after the great effort of life, at last attains, and that which alone can satisfy Mankind’s desire?” Verbal paradox is acceptable as comedy but not as philosophy. It makes fun reading, rarely good thinking. Too liberally indulged (Chesterton is best in small portions), it stops up the bottle of intelligence.