Path(o)s of Mourning. Memory, Death and the Invisible Body in Derek Jarman’s Blue


  • Nicoletta Vallorani Università degli Studi di Milano


Parole chiave:

Derek Jarman, AIDS, Blue, path, pathos, Stonewall, GRID, political resistance


The essay addresses two quite complex issues. The first one is the virulence of the hostility toward  gay men that the AIDS pandemic has released: this is the backdrop against which Jarman's extended elaboration and mourning for his own death  is performed, after his diagnosis as body-positive in 1986. The second issue  links to the open question of public mourning and its relation to AIDS in the early 90s, when the AIDS epidemic is not at its height, but it is certainly more visible than before, and many artists register the impact of the new sensibility this medical and social emergency actually moulds.  Considering a specific time span (the 90s) and  focusing mostly on cinema a strategic, privileged arena where gay cultures resist to social and cultural sanctions, this work elaborates on how AIDS as a deathly social and cultural destiny has suggested strategies of mournings that introduce new artistic practices. The analysis is specifically focused on Derek Jarman's last works, culminating in the film Blue (1993).


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Biografia autore

Nicoletta Vallorani, Università degli Studi di Milano

NICOLETTA VALLORANI is Professor of English Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Milan. Her specialisations include media studies, gender studies and queer studies. She has also worked the cultural and ideological implications of translation, and on the relation between language and ideology in contemporary cultures.
Her current research focuses on body politics and cultural ideology, the body and the city, body language, cultural representation and disease. Her work on J.Conrad, H.G.Wells, Angela Carter, Will Self and Martin Amis is more grounded in the field of literary studies, while more recent approaches to I.Sinclair, D.Jarman, O.Welles, T.Harrison, M.Winterbottom reveal a more specific reference to cultural studies' theories and methods.
She has recently published on formula fiction, cinema and literature, urban topographies, the representation of the body, the representation of war in contemporary British and American cultures.




Come citare

Vallorani, Nicoletta. 2010. «Path(o)s of Mourning. Memory, Death and the Invisible Body in Derek Jarman’s Blue». Altre Modernità, n. 4 (ottobre):82-92.



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