In what New Yorker editor David Remnick is calling a "terrifically sad situation," a young staff writer has resigned after a reporter caught him fabricating Bob Dylan quotes. Jonah Lehrer, who came to the New Yorker in June after a stint at Wired, admitted to making up Bob Dylan quotes to support the theses of his nonfiction book on creativity called Imagine. The lies came to light after a nosy Dylan fan/reporter started asking Lehrer about the quotes, and Lehrer couldn't shake him off the scent. In his resignation letter, Lehrer writes:

Three weeks ago, I received an email from journalist Michael Moynihan asking about Bob Dylan quotes in my book Imagine. The quotes in question either did not exist, were unintentional misquotations, or represented improper combinations of previously existing quotes. But I told Mr. Moynihan that they were from archival interview footage provided to me by Dylan’s representatives. This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic. When Mr. Moynihan followed up, I continued to lie, and say things I should not have said.

The lies are over now. I understand the gravity of my position. I want to apologize to everyone I have let down, especially my editors and readers. I also owe a sincere apology to Mr. Moynihan. I will do my best to correct the record and ensure that my misquotations and mistakes are fixed. I have resigned my position as staff writer at The New Yorker.

Ironically, Lehrer's resignation is portentously mirrored in that classic Dylan lyric, "I'm quitting the New Yorker, I do believe I've had enough." The reporter who busted him, Michael Moynihan, was writing for Tablet. Lehrer, 31, claimed that some of the quotes came from scenes that were edited out of Martin Scorces's documentary that Dylan's management allowed him to watch. But Dylan's camp denied this, telling Moynihan they "were unfamiliar with Lehrer [and] had never read his book."

Imagine has sold 200,000 copies since it was published in March. The Times reports that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is now halting shipment of the book, will take the e-book off the market, and is “exploring all options” regarding the book.