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Modern Nature

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  139 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In 1986 the controversial film-maker Derek Jarman discovered he was HIV positive, and decided to make a garden at his cottage on the bleak coast of Dungeness, where he also wrote these journals. Looking back over his childhood, his "coming out" in the 1960s and his cinema career, the book is at once a volume of autobiography, a lament for a lost generation and a celebratio ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 1st 1994 by Overlook Books (first published August 8th 1991)
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Thomas Lampion
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
the best account of the AIDS epidemic ever written.
any fluffy 80's nostalgia so disgustingly rampant today will be eliminated.
this is the real 80's, the horrors of thatchers england, our best artists and thinkers dying
without filling even an iota of their true potential because of a lack in hospital funding,
medical attention, and human kindness, a society and government that quickly shunned them, not realizing
voices of a generation would be gone forever. this is the work of a genius, and we a
Andrew Marshall
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently, I visited the garden that film-maker Derek Jarman created in the shingle of windswept Dungerness in the shadow of the nuclear power station. It was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever been - with the wild flowers framed by driftwood, a wrecked boat, an anchor and other items found on the beach. I'd watched a couple of films by Jarman, but I've never been a fan, but I was so moved by his garden that I resolved to read the journals he kept in 1990 and 1991 while creating it.

The b
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Derek Jarman's (film director, diarist, stage designer, author and gardener) journal covering the years 1990 and 1991. He had by this time been diagnosed HIV positive and was to die in 1994. It is immensely readable. Even when his health was failing he packed so much into his life and hence he's never short of things to write about. Fortunately, within his pages he allows himself to reminisce about growing up, his family, schooling, relationships and his out and out sexuality.

During the
Drew Pyke
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
There is no one else like Jarman in the movies or writing. This was written in the knowledge of being HIV positive which spurred a different creativity I think. A lot of the terms of reference go back to the grungy 70s and 80s (throbbing gristle, genesis p orridge etc) but throughout all that there are meditations on lowly weeds and seedlings in the barren landscape of Dungeness. Definitely recommend a visit to his Prospect Cottage!

p 33, 51 (kilvert), 75, 77, 91, 94, 102f., 106, 110 (lorca: colour is the eye's music), 127, 138, 152, 153, 221 (francis bacon: odour of gratitude), 226, 302
Paloma Etienne
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I could almost taste, visualise, render in my imagination the shapes, the colours, the callouses on those brunches, feathered flowers and buds. It's Dungeness ...
Aug 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very interesting journal from Derek Jarman. I chose to read it after a visit to Dungeness, and at first I just read the 'garden' bits and skipped a lot, but as I got to know Derek Jarman more through those bits, I read more and more (including some fairly frank descriptions of goings on at Hampstead Heath). He managed to stay very positive through his last years, dying of Aids.
Mar 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, diaries
Uncorrected proof
Barbara Brayshay
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite books - it could be the one I would take to my Desert Island
Rereading yet again.
Mar 12, 2008 rated it liked it
This book very much goes with "Derek Jarman's Garden". Whereas that was a story in pictures, this book comprises Derek's journals during the last years of his life
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Derek Jarman was an English film director, stage designer, artist, and writer.
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“But the wind does not stop for my thoughts. It whips across the flooded gravel pits drumming up waves on their waters that glint hard and metallic in the night, over the shingle, rustling the dead gorse and skeletal bugloss, running in rivulets through the parched grass - while I sit here in the dark holding a candle that throws my divided shadow across the room and gathers my thoughts to the flame like moths.
I have not moved for many hours. Years, a lifetime, eddy past: one, two, three: into the early hours, the clock chimes. The wind is singing now”
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