Friday, 24 February 2012

Any Human Heart

Any Human Heart: The Intimate Journals of Logan Mountstuart is a 2002 novel by William Boyd, a Scottish writer. It is written as a lifelong series of journals kept by the protagonist, Logan Mountstuart, a writer whose life (1906–1991) spanned the defining episodes of the twentieth century, crossed several continents and included a convoluted sequence of relationships and literary endeavours. Boyd uses the diary form as a means of exploring how public events impinge on individual consciousness, so that Mountstuart’s journal alludes almost casually to the war, the death of a prime minister or the abdication of the king.

Boyd, who spent 30 months writing the novel, plays ironically on the theme of literary celebrity, introducing his protagonist to several real writers who are included as characters – a spat with Virginia Woolf in London, a possible sexual encounter with Evelyn Waugh at Oxford, a clumsy exchange with James Joyce in Paris, and a friendship with Ernest Hemingway that spans several years. The journal style, with its gaps, false starts and contradictions, reinforces the theme of the changing self in the novel. Many plot points simply fade away. The novel received mixed reviews from critics on its publication, but has sold well. A television adaptation was made of the screenplay written by Boyd and was first broadcast in 2010.

No comments:

Post a Comment