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Derek Jarman’s life-writing

Luminous presence: Derek Jarman's life-writing is the first book to analyse the prolific writing of queer icon Derek Jarman. He blended visionary queer politics with experimental self-representation and consistently created art with material drawn from his own life, using it as a generative activist force. Although he is well known for his avant-garde filmmaking, his garden and his AIDS activism, he is also the author of over a dozen books, many of which are autobiographical. Much of Jarmanʹs exploration of post-war queer identity and imaginative response to HIV/AIDS can be found in his books, such as the lyrical AIDS diaries Modern Nature and Smiling in Slow Motion, the associative book of colour Chroma, the critique of homophobia At Your Own Risk, and the activist text published alongside the film Edward II. The remarkable range and depth of his writing has yet to be fully explored by critics. Luminous Presence fills this gap. Spanning his career, Alexandra Parsons shows that Jarman’s self-reflexive response to the HIV/AIDS crisis was critical in changing the cultural terms of queer representation from the 1980s onwards. She reads Jarman's self-representations across his literary and visual works as a queer utopian project that places emphasis not on the finished product, but on the process of its production. Luminous Presence examines Jarmanʹs books in broadly chronological order so as to tell the story of his developing experimentation with self-representation. The book is aimed at students, scholars and general readers interested in queer history, literature, art and film.

A therapy and a pharmacopoeia
Alexandra Parsons

; Richardson, The Queer Cinema of Derek Jarman , pp. 192–3. 9 George McKay, Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden (London: Frances Lincoln, 2011), p. 145. 10 O’Quinn, ‘Gardening, History and the Escape from Time’, p. 116

in Luminous presence
Shakespeare the teen idol
Kinga Földváry

the narratives. Queer cinema typically involves more realistic and in-depth explorations of social issues, and often refuses to shy away from representing them as simply fictions that can be revised, rewritten, edited out as in a queer fantasy narrative. In Were the World Mine , the Shakespearean performance provides a solution and a cure to social ills and prejudices, as opposed to Lost and Delirious , where the Shakespearean element does not prove to have universal and miraculous healing power. In the latter, the pressures of patriarchal, heteronormative society

in Cowboy Hamlets and zombie Romeos
Testimony and elegy
Alexandra Parsons

’, in Smiling in Slow Motion: The Journals of Derek Jarman, 1991–1994 , by Derek Jarman, ed. Keith Collins (London: Vintage Classics, 2018), pp. vii–xix. 10 See Pencak, The Films of Derek Jarman ; Rowland Wymer, Derek Jarman (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005); Richardson, The Queer Cinema of Derek Jarman ; Ellis, Angelic Conversations ; and Charlesworth, Derek Jarman

in Luminous presence
Translatina world-making in The Salt Mines and Wildness
Laura Horak

some of the black and Latinx participants in New York’s ballroom scene at the centre of scholarly conversations about gender performativity, racialised queer subcultures, and new queer cinema in the 1990s. However, some complained that the film sensationalised the performances as a modern-​day freak show or minstrel show, and criticised the realist ethnographic style that absented the film’s director, Jennie Livingston, a white lesbian filmmaker, from the diegesis (e.g. hooks, 1996; Reid-​Pharr, 1990). In contrast, queer film scholar Lucas Hilderbrand argues that

in The power of vulnerability
Gothic aesthetics and feminine identification in the filmic adaptations of Clive Barker
Brigid Cherry

who have experience of difference or being othered themselves) 23 and depict individuals or groups who have been oppressed by the dominant hegemony and ghettoised (as with the poor black community in Candyman ) or driven underground (as in Nightbreed ). It is notable in this respect that this worldview can be linked to Barkerian films as queer cinema, 24 and this

in Clive Barker
The Last of England and The Garden
Alexandra Parsons

( 1947 ), in which Anger appears, but not necessarily exactly as himself. Bruss analyses Fireworks in some detail: ‘The mixture of real bodies and artificial members, actual settings and imaginary events, literal desires with figurative fulfillments is dizzying and skews our usual assumptions about the self-evidence of visual information and the coherence of the visible person’. 15 This summary gives a flavour of the tradition of queer cinema and self-representation that Jarman reworks by including his own body in

in Luminous presence
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A Saint’s Testament
Alexandra Parsons

. 16 For a discussion of monstrosity and vampiricism in filmic representations of AIDS, see the chapter ‘AIDS and its Metaphors: (Re)imaging the Syndrome’ in Niall Richardson, The Queer Cinema of Derek Jarman: Critical and Cultural Readings (London: I. B. Tauris, 2009), pp. 173–200. 17 Watney, Imagine Hope , p. 34

in Luminous presence
Abstract only
Robert Shaughnessy

being Sally Potter’s take on Virginia Woolf’s fantasy Orlando and Christine Edzard’s As You Like It ), it was one of the more mainstream responses to the emergence of what Sight and Sound in August 1992 defined as the ‘new queer cinema’, a movement that included Derek Jarman’s confrontational, contemporary Marlowe adaptation, Edward II (1991), Christopher Münch

in As You Like It
Wan-Chuan Kao

. 110 José Esteban Muñoz , ‘ Dead White: Notes on the Whiteness of the New Queer Cinema ’, GLQ , 4 : 1 ( 1998 ), 134 . 111 Robin DiAngelo , ‘ White Fragility ’, International Journal of Critical

in White before whiteness in the late Middle Ages