klj at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Fri Jan 7 10:46:09 EST 2005
On Fri, 7 Jan 2005, Otter Perry wrote:
> > I've always meant to read *Sophie's Choice*, but... well, is that
> > mixing of
> > the pluperfect and imperfect tenses grammatical in American English?
> > It made
> > me shudder a little (as earlier this morning when I realised I had -
> > not for
> > the first time - misspelt Euripides), but it occurs to me it might be a
> > national difference.
> > Charlie
> No, it isn't grammatical in American English.
Well, to be fair, the quote is supposed to be from a letter, so it's
possible that it's a telling grammatical mistake revealing something
important about the character (although any obvious points it might be
revealing aren't all that much in keeping with the other information we
have about this character).
"The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has
been smashed. But a storm is blowing from paradise; it has got caught in
his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them.
This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is
turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward."
---Walter Benjamin, _Theses on the Philosophy of History_
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