My friend Jonathan Rauch discloses his plans.
While I’m blogging, I’m going to try to observe a few rules.
1) No second drafts. There isn’t time.
2) No reporting. There isn’t money.
3) Factuality is approximate.
4) Crabbiness is allowed.
I think he could be quite good at it.
Being, nothingness, and a fake Sartre quote that won’t die
Writing in the Atlantic in 2003, Jonathan Rauch made a joke.
“Introverts are also not misanthropic,” he wrote, though some of us do
go along with Sartre as far as to say ‘Hell is other people at
breakfast.’” Jean-Paul Sartre said nothing about bagels, but the
Internet has turned Rauch’s bon mot into fact.
Mary Schmich was alerted to a piece by Kevin Delaney that “quoted”
Sartre’s Rauch-written aphorism by Dan Bloom, a Taiwan-based blogger
who spotted it in a Times supplement distributed with a Chinese
newspaper. (I can vouch for Bloom’s interest in this matter; he’s
copied me on 10 emails that he’s sent to the Times and others about
Schmich called Fred Shapiro, who edited “The Yale Book of Quotations.”
“Any time you see a quote attributed to Mark Twain, figure that one is
false,” Shapiro told her. “Similarly with Yogi Berra and Benjamin
Franklin.” (Indeed, Mike Daisey got a Twain quote wrong when he
published his now-famous nonapology.) Schmich writes that one of her
lines is now frequently attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, and that
something she didn’t write is now often attributed to her.
Schmich warns readers to be wary of online quotes, but you don’t have
to bother your iPhone to read an inaccurate quote. I live in the
Washington, D.C., area, where a mangled quote recently got carved in
stone, which is actually kind of a tradition around here.
It’s too bad Rauch didn’t make Sartre say “Hell is other people at
brunch.” No one would have ever questioned that.
So? Michael, you KNOW Jon, please tell HIM to correct the faux quote in the ALTNTC piece from 2003 or at least issue a department of clarification notice to readers. no?