Derek Jarman, Modern Nature

John Mepham (Kingston University)
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Derek Jarman wrote a series of autobiographical texts, scripts and journals, in which he again and again revisited his past and continually reinvented the forms of self-writing. The sequence includes

Dancing Ledge


The Last of England

(1987) (republished as

Kicking the Pricks


Modern Nature


At Your Own Risk


Smiling in Slow Motion



(1993), and



In Modern Nature Jarman's self-writing takes a very sharp new turn. Instead of the dispersal and unsettled collage effect of his earlier efforts, Modern Nature seems very settled, steady and focussed. It is a work of relocation and reinvention. In the years just after his HIV+ diagnosis and the death of his father, after the violent hurricane of The Last of England, Jarman resettles himself

1300 words

Citation: Mepham, John. "Modern Nature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002 [, accessed 21 June 2024.]

3580 Modern Nature 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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