Modern Nature Derek Jarman
Spanning 1989-90, Modern Nature is the first volume of Derek Jarman’s collected journals and remains an incredibly powerful account of the celebrated filmmaker’s life as he looks back across his childhood, education and career from the windswept garden of Prospect Cottage, Dungeness. As well as richly illuminating his personal life and work, and also serving as an intricate botanical diary, the book ultimately comes to represent a complex reckoning with national identity. From the age of post-war imperial decline in which he grew up to the hostile social climate created by Thatcher’s government at the height of the AIDS crisis and the slow microcosmic drama of his desert-garden, Jarman ultimately delivers a queer confrontation with the poetry and tragedy of the English landscape.
This is the first in a very welcome series of Jarman reissues from Vintage and features a wonderful new introduction from Olivia Laing.