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Summary

A meditative and inspiring diary of Derek Jarman's famous garden at Dungeness. 

In 1986 Derek Jarman discovered he was HIV positive and decided to make a garden at his cottage on the barren coast of Dungeness. 

Facing an uncertain future, he nevertheless found solace in nature, growing all manner of plants. While some perished beneath wind and sea-spray, others flourished, creating brilliant, unexpected beauty in the wilderness. 

Modern Nature is both a diary of the garden and a meditation by Jarman on his own life: his childhood, his time as a young gay man in the 1960s, his renowned career as an artist, writer and film-maker. It is at once a lament for a lost generation, an unabashed celebration of gay sexuality and a devotion to all that is living.

©1991 Derek Jarman/The Keith Collins Will (P)2021 Audible, Ltd

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Beautiful diary but not great narration

Sensitive thoughtful and wonderful writing. But the narration does not feel as human or flexible as the writing. It is a bit abrasive and with a hard tone, which means the meditative and reflective nature of Jarman’s diary is not able to be relaxed into.

4 people found this helpful

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Garden escapism

This takes you onto the shingle of Dungeness to shelter among the vegetation (both native and introduced)and to cushion against the double tragedy of life under homophobia and death by HIV before successful treatment options became available. Yes, the narrator jars initially, but his abruptness of tone soon moulds the ear to the blunt realities of a difficult and fascinating life well lived.

2 people found this helpful