An edited version of Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine, the book withdrawn from shelves in 2012 by his publisher Houghton Mifflin because he had fabricated quotes by Bob Dylan, will be released in Germany next month, according to a report in the German media.
In a story titled “Free ride for the falsifier” (“Freie Fahrt für den Fälscher”), Buchreport.de reports (via Google Translate) that despite the known fabrications, “the publisher wants to keep the book on creativity:”
As the publisher notified buchreport.de, the German edition of “Imagine”, which was originally scheduled for August 2012, will be published in February 2014 by CH Beck Paperback. This decision was taken after a thorough examination and detailed discussion. The author has sent extensive corrections for fake Dylan quotes, and other errors or misunderstandings were also adjusted. In addition, we have had a German cognitive scientist read the book.
Following revelations that Lehrer had duplicated his own work in The New Yorker and elsewhere, Lehrer’s fabrications in Imagine were uncovered by Michael Moynihan in Tablet magazine in July 2012. In the aftermath, Imagine was one of two books withdrawn by his publishers.
But Lehrer scored a new book deal in June 2013 with Simon & Schuster. Slate’s Daniel Engber suggested there might be plagiarism in that book proposal, too.
Eerie bonus: In September 2011, On The Media featured Retraction Watch and a pre-disgraced Lehrer in the same episode.
Hat tip: Rolf Degen