Philip Roth's Squeaky Wheel Gets the Wikipedia Grease

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Philip Roth resorts to public channels to get a Wikipedia entry changed...and succeeds.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn


What's the Latest Development?

After writing an open (and, of course, extremely eloquent) letter that was published in the New Yorker, Philip Roth got his wish: Wikipedia has changed its entry on his novel The Human Stain to indicate the proper source for its protagonist Coleman Silk. Rather than listing the late New Yorker critic Anatole Broyard as the inspiration, the entry will now indicate that Princeton professor Melvin Tumin, also deceased, was the one who spoke the key sentences from which the novel grew.

What's the Big Idea?

Roth's original request to Wikipedia was denied, even though he was the author of the work, because the site administrator claimed it needed "secondary sources." Because Wikipedia is an open-source site that, theoretically, anyone can edit, all Roth needed to do was have an assistant (one presumes he has at least one) go in and make the change. However, with enough street cred, which the Pulitzer Prize winner obviously has, not only can you write a letter and get it published in a major magazine and expect results, you can have that same letter referenced in the Wikipedia entry itself.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less
Sponsored

How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

content.jwplatform.com
Videos
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Keep reading Show less

Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

Keep reading Show less

Scientists find a horrible new way cocaine can damage your brain

Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.

Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
  • Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
  • Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Keep reading Show less