scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 1,094
Heart of the matter Any Human Heart William Boyd 503pp Hamish Hamilton A quotation from Henry James furnishes the title of William Boyds new novel Never say you know the last word about any human heart These intimate journals of Logan Mountstuart initially seem ready for the challenge But as becomes clear both reality and art have a way of endlessly bifurcating the whole truth into many Born in 1906 and brought up in South America Logan is the son of a Scottish beef baron Francis Mountstuart and his secretary Mercedes de Solis I stir the memory soup in my head hoping gobbets of Uruguay float to the surface I can see the frigorifico - a vast white factory with its stone jetty and towering chimneystack I can hear the lowing of a thousand cattle waiting to be slaughtered butchered cleaned and frozen Logans life - either as diary entries or redacted into small third-person bridging passages - is similarly prepared for public consumption by Boyd We see him at public school in England in the 1920s with his friends Peter Scabius and Benjamin Leeping and then at Oxford where he falls in love with the mysterious Land Fothergill A public historical narrative shadows the personal one Coffee with Land Fothergill at the Cadena She was wearing a velvet coat that matched her eyes We talked a little stiffly about Mussolini and Italy and I was embarrassed to note how much better informed she was than I Embarrassment turns out to be Logans key note as we follow him into a literary career several marriages and meetings with a host of famous folk through the century But the flipside of modest unassuming Logan is sexual staggishness and a refusal to be cowed by grand public figures After a monograph on Shelley and a bestselling novel about a French prostitute he drifts into alcohol adultery and literary criticism A spiky encounter with Virginia Woolf is
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA