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Wu Ting
How would you interpret the word “that” here? Bernes sighed into the phone. “I’m on your side, Shepherd. Believe me. I didn’t call you up to play games. The suggestion that has been made here is that we publish the book under a pseudonym.” Good idea. How about Harriet Wheeler? This is madness. The novel is set in Mexico, written in the same style as two previous books, which have been read by practically everyone in the nation, schoolchildren included. Does he think they’ll believe this is some other writer’s work? He said every publisher in New York is now scrambling to publish books set in ancient Mexico. “Are you serious?” “Oh, yes. You’re going to have fifty imitators soon. Why not get in line? You could be among the first.” The thing was boggling. He mentioned other possibilities. Using a ghostwriter. Not exactly that, but a real person, I would pay him a fee to use his name. In case I am worried about the press uncovering that the book was actually written by me.How would you interpret the word “that” in the sentence “Not exactly that, but a real person..”? What do you think the word “that” refers to? Does it refer to ghostwriter? Or does it refer to pseudonym? If it refers to ghostwriter, does he mean a false ghostwriter, that is, only a name, not a real person? In my opinion, if he means a real ghostwriter, he doesn’t need to see that phrase “Not exactly that, but a real person”. What do you think? Thanks. And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.
Jun 12, 2015 12:32 AM
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Answers · 2
In my opinion, 'that' refers to 'ghostwriter'. Here, the author means he just wanted to find someone who would offer the permission of using his own name to publish a book. In other words, this person needn't to be a real ghostwriter, he just need to be a real person who has a real name that can be used by the author.
June 12, 2015
He means not exactly a ghostwriter because Shepherd would do the writing himself but under the name of some other writer. Normally a ghostwriter is hired to do the writing for a famous person who wants to write a book, but doesn't really have the talent to do so.
June 12, 2015
Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language
English