Diving Bell and the Butterfly

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9781857027792: Diving Bell and the Butterfly
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The diary of Jean-Dominique Baudy, written after the author suffered a massive stroke leaving his left eyelid as the only mobile muscle in his body. Three days after the book's publication, Baudy died.

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Review:

We've all got our idiosyncrasies when it comes to writing--a special chair we have to sit in, a certain kind of yellow paper we absolutely must use. To create this tremendously affecting memoir, Jean-Dominique Bauby used the only tool available to him--his left eye--with which he blinked out its short chapters, letter by letter. Two years ago, Bauby, then the 43-year-old editor-in-chief of Elle France, suffered a rare stroke to the brain stem; only his left eye and brain escaped damage. Rather than accept his "locked in" situation as a kind of death, Bauby ignited a fire of the imagination under himself and lived his last days--he died two days after the French publication of this slim volume--spiritually unfettered. In these pages Bauby journeys to exotic places he has and has not been, serving himself delectable gourmet meals along the way (surprise: everything's ripe and nothing burns). In the simplest of terms he describes how it feels to see reflected in a window "the head of a man who seemed to have emerged from a vat of formaldehyde."

From the Publisher:

"Was it Hemingway who defined grace under pressure? No matter who said it, the words have never been more pertinent than in speaking of this heroic book, dictated against the worst imaginable adversities. Although every word cost the author a superhuman effort, the prose is not sickbed telegraphese but rather as light as the sprightliest humor, as pungent as the taste of cooking apricots, as vigorous as the step of a young man setting out on a first date. Read this book and fall back in love with life."
-- Edmund White

"To read this most extraordinary of narratives is to discover the luminosity within a courageous man's mind. Locked into his own world but not locked out of ours, []Jean-Dominique Bauby[] explores images, memories and an entire landscape of fantasy and love. His incomparable final gift to us is a heartbreaking and yet glorious testament to the wrenching beauty of the human spirit."
-- Sherwin B. Nuland, M.D.

"As riveting as a narrative from an explorer of deep space, this communication from a mind imprisoned in an unresponsive body is remarkable for its utter lack of self-pity or sentimentality. Though 'locked in' the author's consciousness freely roams through worlds of memory, fantasy, sense, impression, and contemplation of the human condition. An unforgettable read."
-- Andrew Weil

"This heartbreaking story by a uniquely gifted writer is about transforming pain into creativity, human despair into literary miracle."
-- Elie Wiesel

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780375701214: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0375701214 ISBN 13:  9780375701214
Publisher: Vintage, 1998
Softcover

9780375401152: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death

Alfred..., 1997
Hardcover

9780007139842: The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly

Harper..., 2008
Softcover

9780307389251: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Vintage International)

Vintage, 2007
Softcover

9780007790159: Xstranger Than Diving Bell But

Harper..., 2006
Softcover

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Bauby, Jean Dominiqu
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Book Description 4th Estate, London, U.K., 1997. No Binding. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Unclipped wrapper, not remaindered, collectible condition. Bauby, editor of Elle magazine, father of two, suffered a massive stroke and slipped into a coma. Later paralysed and speechless he struggles to communicate -using the blink of an eye he dictates this amazing book. Now a movie. "Literature which explores what is left when only the essential remains - life itself". Seller Inventory # 005652

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