Keke surely would have helped her beloved Soso

thetazuo

Senior Member
Chinese - China
The letter may be the sort of crazed correspondence attracted by politicians, except for the fact that Stalin, who did not keep much in his personal archive, filed the letter. The mention of his mother rings true, for Keke surely would have helped her beloved Soso in a situation that can hardly have been unknown among the young Casanovas of Georgia.

Context: A woman wrote to Stalin about her niece, Pasha, who was allegedly fathered by Stalin himself in 1899. The letter claims that Stalin’s mother had taken an interest in the child, Pasha, who herself remembered Keke (Stalin's mother). Soso is Stalin.

Excerpt From: Simon Sebag Montefiore. “Young Stalin.”

Question: Does the "would have helped" imply an open condition: If Stalin was in that situation?

Thank you very much.
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    No, in this context it suggests that Stalin was indeed in that situation. Since Keke would have (is likely to have) helped him, the claim that she had taken an interest in the child sounds plausible.
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    No, in this context it suggests that Stalin was indeed in that situation.
    Thank you, Barque. But I think the part "The letter may be the sort of crazed correspondence attracted by politicians" suggests the content of the letter may not be true, so Stalin might not have been in that situation. Am I wrong?
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    You have to read the sentence as a whole.

    The letter may be the sort of crazed correspondence attracted by politicians, except for the fact that Stalin...filed the letter.
    The underlined words mean that if that additional circumstance hadn't existed (Stalin filing it), it could well have been the typical crazed correspondence attracted by politicians.

    The next sentence with the reference to his mother provides another reason for its being unlikely to have been mere "crazed correspondence".

    Also note the words
    The mention of his mother rings true,
    which also suggest that the claim might have been a valid one.
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thank you. So does the "would have helped" express the author's assumption/belief that Keke did actually help her Soso, as in "In Stone Age people would have led a tough life"?
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Yes, it's very similar.

    "In Stone Age people would have led a tough life"?
    In the Stone Age, people are likely to have led a tough life.
    Similarly, your sentence means that it's very probable Stalin was in that situation, and in that case, Keke would in all likelihood have helped him.

    Note the use of "surely".
    for Keke surely would have helped her beloved Soso
     
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