Monday, July 30, 2012
But just today, a few minutes ago, I was checking out at the grocery store, when my phone buzzed. It was my client, sharing a link to this Josh Voorhees Slate story, titled "Jonah Lehrer Resigns From New Yorker After Making Up Quotes."
I raced home to read the story on the full screen. I churn now, within—confused, more than anything, as to why a young man as successful as Jonah Lehrer most certainly is would find it necessary, first, to fabricate Dylan for his book, and, second, to spin a complicated tangle of lies in the aftermath of being found out. Lie after lie. Preposterous lies. Not exaggerations, but lies.
Why do such a thing? Why cannibalize a rising-star career? Why jeopardize the faith of readers, an editor, friends? Writers make mistakes—we all do, I absolutely do—but deliberate deceit is hardly a mistake. Deliberate deceit is intentional, and designed. It can't feel good. Nothing will make it right.
There can only be, when lying as overtly as this, a terrible anxious rush in the middle of the night.