WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY NEIL BARTLETT
'The life-affirming expression of an artist engaged in living to the full' The Times
Smiling in Slow Motion is Derek Jarman’s last journal, stretching from May 1991 until a fortnight before his death in February 1994. Jarman writes with his trademark humour and candour about friends and enemies, as he races through his final years of film-making, gardening and radical political protest.
Written from Jarman’s Charing Cross Road flat, his famed garden at Dungeness, and finally from his bed in St Bartholomew's Hospital, Jarman meditates on his own deteriorating health and the loss of his contemporaries. Yet Smiling in Slow Motion is not simply a chronicle of illness and regret: it is, at its heart, one of endeavour, determination and pride.
"Gossipy, candid, funny, and, as Jarman’s illness takes hold, powerfully moving"
"Present on every page is the creative sparkle and compellingly generous spirit of a man who was in every way an uncompromising individual"
"In these diaries... the artist and film director emerges as a down-to-earth visionary... this perceptive and enjoyable work is something of a miracle"
"For all his anger, Jarman never seems brutalised. He retains his humanity and his good humour. His is a wonderfully garrulous, mercurial, polymathic daemon"
"Jarman [is] the sort of troublemaking visionary who one day may be compared with Blake"
Train tickets, love notes and... rashers of bacon?! What you find hidden between pages can be a source of unexpected delight.
You already know that your favourite authors know how to wield a pen when it comes to writing fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, but have you ever read any of their personal writing? We’ve compiled a list of outstanding diarists and correspondents to inspire you to pick up a pen this year.