Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dungeness: Derek Jarman and Malcolm Saville

English Buildings has been to Dungeness and Derek Jarman's garden at Prospect Cottage.

Malcolm Saville went to Dungeness too. The following passage is from The Elusive Grasshopper, published in 1951:

Some days later Jon tried to describe Dungeness to his mother and found it very difficult, although it was little more than a desert of shingle which had been made even uglier by slovenly and haphazard building of bungalows, shacks and old railway coaches.

There were a few fishermen's sheds of tarred timber on the sea side of the road, besides the group of well-built cottages round the lighthouse and the square, white building which housed the great foghorn.

Many of the little bungalows had been badly damaged by bombs and the blank eyes of their broken windows gave them a look of unheeded death. There is, perhaps, nothing more depressing than an untenanted house, but one that is empty, damaged and neglected as well is a horrid sight and even on this sunny afternoon Jon felt that this outpost was both curious and uncanny.

1 comment:

Philip Wilkinson said...

Fascinating: I hadn't read that. Saville was born in Hastings so must have known his way around that area. Some of the bungalows at Dungeness (not just Jarman's) look very well cared for now, although the bleak scenery, raw wind, and power stations deter the gentrifiers.