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Sunday Read: Wiki Claims Philip Roth is Not a Credible Source for Entry on The Human Stain

The Human StainPhilip Roth has penned an Open Letter to Wikipedia in which he reveals a bizarre spat with the “English Wikipedia Administrator” regarding the collaborative encyclopedia’s entry for his novel The Human Stain.

When Roth spotted a mistake in the entry concerning the inspiration for his own work, he asked Wikipedia to delete the misinformation but his request was refused on the grounds that he is “not a credible source” – Wikipedia prefers secondary sources to the real deal.

However, in an even stranger twist, as one user notes in the comments section, Roth could probably correct the entry by citing his open letter. Chew on that:

Dear Wikipedia,

I am Philip Roth. I had reason recently to read for the first time the Wikipedia entry discussing my novel “The Human Stain.” The entry contains a serious misstatement that I would like to ask to have removed. This item entered Wikipedia not from the world of truthfulness but from the babble of literary gossip—there is no truth in it at all.

Yet when, through an official interlocutor, I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator”—in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor—that I, Roth, was not a credible source: “I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,” writes the Wikipedia Administrator—“but we require secondary sources.”

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