Luminous Presence

Alexandra Parsons


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Manchester University Press
4 March 2023
ISBN: 9781526171573
280 pages

From the publisher

Luminous presence: Derek Jarman's life-writing is the first book to analyse the prolific writing of queer icon Derek Jarman. 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 Jarman's 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. This book fully explores, for the first time, the remarkable range and depth of Jarman's writing. Spanning his career, Alexandra Parsons argues 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. Luminous presence is of great interest to students, scholars and readers of queer histories in literature, art and film.