[Ads-l] Zoar survivor quote=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=94Errol_?=Morris versions

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 31 16:48:39 UTC 2021

There is a match for the quotation in a 1995 book that contains a
reprint of a profile of Errol Morris written by journalist Mark
Singer. The reprint is from a collection titled "Mr. Personality" by
Singer, but the original source is "The New Yorker".

The website of "The New Yorker" indicates that the profile of Errol
Morris by Mark Singer was titled "Predilections" and it appeared in
the February 6, 1989 issue.

I have not verified the text in "The New Yorker". I currently do not
have access to "The New Yorker", but some other list member might be
able to check it. Of course, this is not direct evidence that the
quotation was employed by a Zoarite. It simply suggests that Errol
Morris was propagating it circa 1989.

Year: 1995
Book: Literary Journalism: A New Collection of the Best American Nonfiction
Editors: Norman Sims, ‎Mark Kramer
Publisher: Ballantine Books, New York
Quote Page 295
Database: Google Books Preview

Bibliographical Note: “Errol Morris: Predilections" from Mr.
Personality by Mark Singer. Copyright © 1989 by Mark Singer. Reprinted
by permission. Originally in The New Yorker.

[Begin excerpt]
“My favorite line in Dr. Death, I think, will be when the last living
Zoarite is quoted as saying, 'Think of it—all those religions. They
can't all be right. But they could all be wrong,” Morris said.
. . .
At the time this Profile was published in The New Yorker, in February
1989, a decision about Randall Adams' legal fate, although imminent .
. .
[End excerpt]

Date: February 6, 1989 (print edition)
Periodical: The New Yorker
Article: Profiles - Predilections
Comment: Profile of moviemaker Errol Morris by Mark Singer

Full access to this article is paywalled. I have not verified the
presence of the quotation in this article



On Mon, May 31, 2021 at 8:27 AM Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:
> In the NY Times, May 28, 2021, ‘Errol Morris: What We Believe About Beliefs”:
>  “Years ago I read an anecdote about the 19th-century utopian community of Zoar [in Ohio]. It was mentioned in passing in a book about forensic psychiatry. And try as I might, I haven’t been able to source it since. The story concerns the last living inhabitant of Zoar, a woman who on her deathbed said, “Think of all those religions. They can’t all be right. But they can all be wrong.”
> So, what is the quote, or was he wrong? Other remembrances from him (check accuracy):
> 1997 Filmmaker v6 p50 [my elipses]:
> “Years ago when I was reading all sorts of different things, I stumbled across a story about this religion. ….last living inhabitant of Zoar on his [sic, though maybe a transcription error or typo for her?] deathbed…”All those religions. They can’t all be right. But they could all be wrong.”
> 2003:
> “…in her nineties on her deathbed. Think of it. All those religions. They can’t all be right. But they can all be wrong.”
> 2008 (?):
> “But I found in an archive in Ohio a record of the last inhabitant of Zoar…Think of it. All those religions? They can’t all be right. But they can all be wrong.”
> Tentatively, I assume there was some such quote, but, if in a regular published or widely-known book of forensic psychology, it seems as if it would have turned up by now. Reportedly, Morris considered making a film about Zoar, so archival text is not out of the question, though, say, the Ohio Historical Society archive could be quoted in a book. In 1930, a Mrs. Beiter [former family name of members was Beuter, Mary [Mary Beiter Carr? 1890-1969?] or Alameda, or her relatives] was said to be the oldest survivor of Zoar community. That’s not the same as the last member, but suggests a post-1930 date for the statement, the death, and the publication. Yet before about 1992?
> Stephen Goranson
> http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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