I’m not sure this is the right title for this piece at New English Review. Dalrymple doesn’t write about blame per se but rather notes a recent case of a writer, James Lasdun, being stalked and defamed by one of his readers, an incident that must weigh heavily on the mind of a writer as prolific as Dalrymple:
Lasdun’s persecutor not only altered his Wikipedia entry, but wrote calumnies about him on Amazon and other sites (admittedly a hazard faced only by those who put themselves before the public in some way). These calumnies could be and were removed in time, but e-mails to his employers accusing him of things that were both inherently unlikely and difficult to disprove were far more serious, and could have been done to anyone. Lasdun stood accused of the kind of ‘crimes’ which always besmirch in the modern world – racism, sexism, harassment etc. – and which he himself had previously believed ought to be extirpated by administrative regulation. He found that proving a negative, even within the confines of his own mind, was not easy.