Living in A Wikipedia World (Part II)

Author Philip Roth recently found a Wikipedia article about his book “The Human Stain” contained an error. So, what did he do? He had his representatives contact Wikipedia to inform them about the error and to explain the truth about the real life inspiration of his work of fiction.
Instead of correcting the error, Wikipedia told Roth’s representative that even though the author is the ultimate authority of their work, Wikipedia required secondary sources before they would make changes.
In other words, other people knew more than the author.
We are living in a Wikipedia world. A world in which you are the authority as long as you have a secondary source. Never mind what the author actually meant, you can, and are entitled to, your own opinion.
Thankfully, Roth would not let it go. Roth recently wrote a letter of complaint which the New Yorker post last week. Wikipedia fixed the article using (I’m not making this up) the letter in the New Yorker as a source.
The problem is that people do not merely interpret literature according to their own opinions, they interpret all of life that way. After all, why should we believe the author and what he says? We have are own way of thinking and our own opinion about how things ought to be.

Share

Leave a Reply