Thursday 23 November 2017

'New Yorker' staff writer quits after inventing quotes from Bob Dylan

Jonah Lehrer. Photo: Getty Images
Jonah Lehrer. Photo: Getty Images

Hillel Italie in New York

A staff writer for 'The New Yorker' magazine has resigned and his latest book has been halted after he acknowledged inventing quotes by Bob Dylan.

Jonah Lehrer released a statement yesterday through his publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, that some Dylan quotes appearing in his book 'Imagine: How Creativity Works' did not exist. Others were "unintentional misquotations, or represented improper combinations of previously existing quotes".

Lehrer said he acknowledged his actions after being contacted by Michael Moynihan of the online publication 'Tablet Magazine', which earlier yesterday released an in-depth story on the Dylan passages in 'Imagine'.

"I told Mr Moynihan that (the quotes in question) were from archival interview footage provided to me by Dylan's representatives. This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic.

"When Mr Moynihan followed up, I continued to lie, and say things I should not have said," Lehrer wrote in his statement. "The lies are over now."

Houghton Mifflin said that Lehrer had committed a "serious misuse."

Irish Independent

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