Date: December 15, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
Presentation of a Nobel prize to Sinclair Lewis has aroused considerable discussion. Whether his books will survive as literature remains to be seen. Certainly he has been a keen, critical and witty reporter of certain phases of our life. Being critical, he has many readers. He has found favor in some foreign quarters because they like to believe our life is as he represents it. Human nature, not only abroad, but at home tends to caricature everything that is foreign.
No necessity exists for becoming excited. What is of importance is not what some writer represents us to be, but what we really are. We have survived, and profited by, criticism. We have many kinds of people and many phases of life. No writer can tread them all. Judging by our progress and the position we hold, our average is fairly satisfactory. We do not have to obtrude ourselves into the affairs of other people. The world waits in our anteroom for our advice and assistance. The name Mr. Lewis gives us is unimportant. The records of our deeds will surpass all books.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Greg Harkenrider who prepared this document for digital publication.