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    #1

    How should I understand this sentence

    "The biography indicates how close Huckleberry Finn came to not being written"

    I don't get the bold part. What exactly does the author mean by that?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: How should I understand this sentence

    It was quite possible that Mark Twain might not have had the chance to write Huckleberry Finn. Perhaps there was a possibility of him accepting a job that would have taken up all his time; or perhaps he nearly died before he started writing. Only the biography can tell you.

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    #3

    Re: How should I understand this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    It was quite possible that Mark Twain might not have had the chance to write Huckleberry Finn. Perhaps there was a possibility of him accepting a job that would have taken up all his time; or perhaps he nearly died before he started writing. Only the biography can tell you.
    Really? My teacher said that this sentence mean Twain did write it but it was completely altered to the point it bear almost no resemblance to what he intended to write (a.k.a came very close to "not being written").

    Is such understanding correct?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: How should I understand this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by vkhu View Post
    Really? My teacher said that this sentence mean Twain did write it but it was completely altered to the point it bear almost no resemblance to what he intended to write (a.k.a came very close to "not being written").
    The words do not suggest that. If that had been the intended meaning, the words would have been, "The biography indicates how close Huckleberry Finn came to not being written in its present form/in the form that we know it."
    Last edited by 5jj; 20-Dec-2011 at 15:34. Reason: typo

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: How should I understand this sentence

    I completely agree with 5jj on both points.

    Your teacher's interpretation is a mystery to me.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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