Dr. Doris Kearns Goodwin
c/o Elizabeth Hayes
Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
The Nassau Weekly pauses its inexorable jubilations, ignited last Thursday morning with your wonderful news, to offer you our very profoundest compliments on your deeply deserved Nobel. How long we have anticipated its bestowal! And yet how many doubted it! But we at the Nassau Weekly have been your champions through all, dear Doris, dearest epicist of the post-human condition! And though we grieve that the Committee, in its parsimony, has made you divide this honor, we agree that there are after all baser bedfellows than Gotthold Ephraim Lessing!
Indeed, Doris, the decision to award half the Nobel to a deceased author is unprecedented—but, we think, entirely fitting in your case, so do not grieve. For in addition to a passion for U.S. presidents’ amateur athletics, the formal transfiguration of the page from a tangled repository of footnotes and extraneous punctuation marks to a safe environment for clean, pure prose, and of course for winning prizes, Gotthold shares with you a great keenness for baseball and human freedom.
We at the Nassau Weekly love both very much, and we love you very much for your loyalty to them. Both are international values of the greatest significance in our century, and indeed both are best in mimesis of the other. This is your gift to us, Doris: we can think of no other author whose writing is so much a form of baseball or human freedom! I can’t tell one from the other anymore—tea gravissima culpa! So how devastated we were at the reaction to your so-called “plagiarism” when the wiles of your art came to light! What childish moralists! What sots! For a plagiarius, we wellest know, is not only a kidnapper but a seducer!
Doris Cassanova, this is your gift to us: We knew that all there was to be done was done. We knew the author was dead (Barthes told us) and we grieved him, blindly, relentlessly, like so many Electras! But you taught us, you Orestes for our times, to plunder his graves and give him life again! You taught us to write again—not a monolith anymore, but a mosaic patchwork—something old, something new, something borrowed. Yes, darlingest Jesus, sine te, non.
Now we at the Nassau Weekly are not blind to the concerns that sometimes cloud the Swedish Academy’s judgment. No sirrhee! We knew it was time for either an Asian lesbian or a plagiarist. Most of us had our bets on Kaavya Viswanathan (having discovered to some shock that in its 106 years the Nobel has never been awarded to a Southeast Asian female juvenile)—but how grateful we are that, for once, the Committee allowed pure artistry to supersede political miasma. How proud we were they took this step for the sake of us all. For your award is a beacon of humanity in dark times, a reminder that art alone (along with U.S. Presidents, baseball and human freedom) has the power to make us all one.
With abiding love,
Lucas Barron, on behalf of the Nassau Weekly