As you might be aware, Jonah Lehrer has been coming under fire of late for admitting that he made quotes up while writing his biography of Bob Dylan (i.e., he put words into the mouth of his subject to suit his purpose). I’m happy to say that I’m not the only one who (briefly) thought of Thucydides’ methods, as Robert Zaretsky (who does French history at the University of Houston) has written an OpEd in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Here’s on paragraph that caught my eye for different reasons, however:
In a situation Thucydides would recognize, the ridiculously young and improbably successful Lehrer — author of three bestselling books, an immensely popular lecturer, and staff writer for The New Yorker, all at the age of 31 — spurred the envy not of Olympus, but our blogosphere. Ever so slightly like Alcibiades, the young and gifted Athenian portrayed by Thucydides as the tragic victim of his overreaching, Lehrer brought upon himself our own age’s Furies — bloggers and internet vigilantes — enraged perhaps as much by his worldly success as by his professional sloppiness.
Bloggers as Furies … but guilty of envy themselves? In any event, read the whole thing at:
- Hubris and Envy: The Lehrer Affair (Los Angeles Review of Books)