adz000 wrote:I'm not sure I see why the simple past indicative and present indicative don't make sense, since the sentences makes sense as a factual statement.
No books were ever written without writing; men do not have good reputations among without writing.
I think your sentences is just as good, but has a slightly different meaning.
But it isn't past, it's present: [face=SPIonic]gra/fetai
[/face] (books) are written .....
I suppose I'll just have to put it down to H&Q's fondness for bizarre sentences, but I still think it should be a contrafactual since in fact books are written.