Best-seller on creativity featured fake Bob Dylan quotes
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
WASHINGTON, July 31: A young star of American journalism has acknowledged he concocted quotes from Bob Dylan in his best-selling book of creativity featuring the American folk legend, a magazine article revealed Monday.
The creative process "is a hard thing to describe (...) It´s just this sense that you got something to say," read a quote that Jonah Lehrer, a 31-year-old staff writer at The New Yorker, attributed to Dylan in his book "Imagine: How Creativity Works."
"The problem, though, is that there is no proof that Dylan ever said this," wrote Michael C. Moynihan in an article published online Monday by a Jewish-American magazine, Tablet.
Moynihan, a Dylan enthusiast, wrote that he questioned Lehrer about seven quotes in the first chapter of his book, "three of which aren´t detectable anywhere else, at least not in the forms in which they appear in the book; three others of which include portions of real Dylan quotes; and one that is dramatically removed from its original context to conform to the narrative of ´Imagine.´"
Lehrer initially told Moynihan he had obtained the quotations from an "extended -- and unreleased -- interview shot" in acclaimed director Martin Scorsese´s documentary on the musical legend, "No Direction Home," obtained from Dylan´s manager Jeff Rosen.
But Moynihan wrote that Lehrer later confessed to him that he had never met Rosen or seen the unedited footage.
"I panicked," Moynihan quoted Lehrer as saying.
The New York Times reported that Lehrer has resigned from his position at The New Yorker, citing a statement he made through his publisher.
The publisher of "Imagine," Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, said it will recall print versions of his book, the Times said.