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Could you look at these sentences:

"Somewhere else in the fanzine I mention that I'd written to the Nivens and sent a tape and asked them if they'd be so kind as to fill it up with more of their groovey songs! Today I receive a tape."

I don't understand the use of past perfect for write, send and ask as the events are in chronological order.

First he wrote, sent and asked then he received.

There is no need of past perfect here.So did the author choose this tense to emphasize the gap between the time he wrote and the time he received it. He surely was not expecting to receive an answer anymore when he got it.

  • There are at least 3 points in time described in that sentence: 1. when he wrote, sent and asked, 2. When he wrote the Fanzine ("I mention" is present but he clearly wrote it before the time-frame from which he is speaking) 3. Today (when he receives the tape) – msam May 9 '14 at 11:57
  • the time frame is like that 1 when he wrote , sent and asked ok 2 he received the tape 3 He wrote the article that he included in the fanzine – user5577 May 9 '14 at 12:05
  • 1/2. He wrote somewhere else in the Fanzine about the time when he sent the tape - clearly, if he wrote about it, it had to have happened before he wrote about it. 3. He received the tape - "Today". 4. He wrote this text (in the fanzine as well), but this is irrelevant. – msam May 9 '14 at 12:16
  • You mean he was writing the Fanzine when he received the tape and the letter he had sent and written before. – user5577 May 9 '14 at 12:32
  • no but wrote about it after it happened. Simplifying even further: He wrote to Nivens and sent them a tape and asked them to fill it up. Then he wrote about this in the Fanzine (somewhere else). Today he received the tape. Now he is writing about all this. – msam May 9 '14 at 12:38
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I think the first thing to note is that "I'd" covers the next three clauses:

I'd:

  • written to the Nivens; and
  • sent a tape; and
  • asked them if they'd be so kind as to fill it up with more of their groovey [sic] songs!

It's true that the author could have written " I wrote to the Nivens and sent a tape and asked them if they'd be so kind as to fill it up with more of their groovey songs!" (note that "wrote" is the only verb that needs to change!). But all three were completed past actions at the time of the fanzine article, which is itself in the past. I don't think the author is stressing the time between sending and receiving the tape, I think it's simply a matter of clearly positioning the event as already past at a past time.

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