Absent Authors

John Lanchester

  • Criticism in Society by Imre Salusinszky
    Methuen, 244 pp, £15.00, May 1987, ISBN 0 416 92270 8
  • Mensonge by Malcolm Bradbury
    Deutsch, 104 pp, £5.95, September 1987, ISBN 0 233 98020 2

‘Those who have much leisure to think,’ Dr Johnson wrote, ‘will always be enlarging the stock of ideas, and every increase of knowledge, whether real or imagined, will produce new words or combinations of words.’ The words that aren’t in a dictionary can convey nearly as much information as the words that are: the main body of the OED, which was completed in 1933, has no entry for the first word I looked up in it – ‘genocide’. There is as yet no mention of ‘Deconstruction’ in the OED or in its Supplement.

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