The New Yorker staff writer and author Jonah Lehrer resigned today after he acknowledged that he falsified quotes by Bob Dylan in his latest book.
The book in question, called “Imagine: How Creativity Works” has also been halted.
On Monday, Lehrer released a statement through his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, stating that some of the quotes attributed to Dylan did “not exist.”
“Three weeks ago, I received an email from journalist Michael Moynihan asking about Bob Dylan quotes in my book ‘Imagine.’ The quotes in question either did not exist, were unintentional misquotations, or represented improper combinations of previously existing quotes,” said Lehrer in his statement.
“But I told Mr. Moynihan that they 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.
“The lies are over now. I understand the gravity of my position. I want to apologize to everyone I have let down, especially my editors and readers. I also owe a sincere apology to Mr. Moynihan. I will do my best to correct the record and ensure that my misquotations and mistakes are fixed. I have resigned my position as staff writer at The New Yorker.”
Lehrer apologized in June for recycling his previous works in his blogs, articles, and novels already, including in “Imagine.”
Michael C. Moynihan published an online article in Tablet on Monday where he explained how he discovered Lehrer’s deception, saying that during the three weeks where Moynihan was asking his questions, “Lehrer stonewalled, misled, and eventually, outright lied to me.”
Houghton Mifflin has removed listings for the e-book edition of “Imagine” and shipments of the book have been stopped. The company said in a statement that Lehrer had committed a “serious misuse.”
David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, said, “This is a terrifically sad situation, but, in the end, what is most important is the integrity of what we publish and what we stand for.”