Hivemind Question

After he published his book, he had arrived (here, “arrive” means “make it,” not “come”).

What do you think the chronological order of the two activities described in the sentence is?

4 Responses to Hivemind Question

  1. Lynet says:

    My first guess is that publishing the book is causally related to “making it”; by publishing the book, he arrives. Thus I would say that either he knew he had arrived because he had managed to publish his book, or the reaction to his book was what meant he had “made it”. Or possibly a mixture of the two. The main content that I get from that sentence is the idea that the two are related, not any real clue to chronology.

  2. Noa Levy (yes, we're related) says:

    For me, an easier way to comprehend the sentence, is by adding an ‘already’ – After publishing his book, he had already arrived – as the meaning is still the same.
    My guess is that this means that the chornological order of the sentence is that he arrived before even publishing his book. So then when he finished publishing his book (“After he published his book…”) he had already ‘made it’ beforehand (“…he had arrived”)

  3. T. Bailey says:

    “After” qualifies the syntax sufficiently to tip the scales toward thinking the arrival was post-published. Without “after”, the sentence is simply two short sentences that may be related.

    To my eye, this is a bad sentence. There are all sorts of clearer, more literate ways of conveying these ideas, one way or the other:

    He arrived, and then published his book.

    The publishing of his book assured his arrival.

    He had already arrived when his book was published.

    He arrived; he published his book.


  4. Ran Halprin says:

    The sentence can be paraphrased “He published his book, afterwards he arrived”. I can’t really see how it can be interpreted otherwise…

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