The writer—like the musician or painter—must be free to explore; otherwise she or he will never discover what is needed to be known. This means, very often, finding oneself considered “unacceptable” by masses of people who think the writer’s obligation is to second the masses’ motions, whatever they are. Yet the gift of a writer’s loneliness is sometimes a radical vision of society or one’s people that has not previously been taken into account. Jean Toomer was, I think, a lonely, wandering man, accustomed to being misunderstood—and yet, Cane is a great reward; though Toomer himself probably never realized it. The same is true of Zora Neale Hurston. It is interesting to contemplate what would have been the result and impact on black women—since 1937—if they had read and taken to heart Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Would they still be as dependent on material things—fine cars, furs, big houses, pots and jars of face creams—as they are today? Or would they, learning from the main character of the book that materialism is the dragrope of the soul, have become women immune to the accumulation of things, and aware that love, fulfillment as women, peace of mind, should logically come before, not after, selling one’s soul for a golden stool on which to sit. Sit and be bored.