A Mr. Leith, reviewing in the T.L.S. a book by a Mr. Coe, tells us that "The back-drop is an international optimism banjaxed by what the reader knows of the future."
Well! I have never before met "banjaxed," but according to the O.E.D. it is "Anglo-Irish slang" first noted in 1939, and it means "confounded," "stymied" or "thwarted." Beckett in the original 1954 version of "Godot" wrote "Then we'll be ballocksed," but in 1956 he revised that to "Then we'll be banjaxed." (The great Dictionary contains no entry for a verb "to ballocks," although "ballock" means "to reprimand severely.")
Mr. Leith, who since he calls himself "Sam" is presumably himself Irish, ends his review by saying that "The cliché is that comedy equals tragedy plus time. Coe here makes the case that tragedy can equal comedy plus time too." Do the Membership have any observations thereon?