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And I never could understand why he didn't write more.
Whenever I'd ask him, he'd say, “Well, I don't know enough yet.”
And the interesting thing is, it wasn't just a rationalization.
I mean, he was voracious. He never felt that he knew enough
about any particular subject. He was always reading. Everything he
read meant that he would want to read more on it, you know. You'd
visit him, and books literally were all over his house.
One of the nicest things that ever happened to me was, in
his will he said that I should have the pick of his books, the pick
of his library. My wife and I took the station wagon down, after
his funeral, and we took a number of books that he had.
We obviously got to be very good friends. He didn't think
I should get married when I did, because he thought that it would
interfere with my pursuit of academic goals. But after I got married,
he visited with us and said, “Mamie, Kenneth -- I was wrong. It
didn't interfere at all. In fact, you both reinforced each other.”
Same thing with Alain Locke. Alain Locke had another
motivation. Alain Locke, I think -- not, I think, I know -- was
homosexual. And he believed in the classic Greek approach to sholarship
-- you know, that heterosexual relationships, he felt, interfered
with the pursuit of intellectual and academic goals.
But he too, before he died, you know, would visit us in
Hastings, and we'd sit on the porch and talk, and he'd say, “You
know, I was wrong. You two deserve each other.”
That's a double meaning, I guess.
Of course, at that time, there was a widespread feeling among
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