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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Vintage International)

by

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Vintage International) Cover

ISBN13: 9780307389251
ISBN10: 0307389251
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby was the editor-in-chief of French Elle, the father of two young childen, a 44-year-old man known and loved for his wit, his style, and his impassioned approach to life. By the end of the year he was also the victim of a rare kind of stroke to the brainstem. After 20 days in a coma, Bauby awoke into a body which had all but stopped working: only his left eye functioned, allowing him to see and, by blinking it, to make clear that his mind was unimpaired. Almost miraculously, he was soon able to express himself in the richest detail: dictating a word at a time, blinking to select each letter as the alphabet was recited to him slowly, over and over again. In the same way, he was able eventually to compose this extraordinary book.

By turns wistful, mischievous, angry, and witty, Bauby bears witness to his determination to live as fully in his mind as he had been able to do in his body. He explains the joy, and deep sadness, of seeing his children and of hearing his aged father's voice on the phone. In magical sequences, he imagines traveling to other places and times and of lying next to the woman he loves. Fed only intravenously, he imagines preparing and tasting the full flavor of delectable dishes. Again and again he returns to an "inexhaustible reservoir of sensations," keeping in touch with himself and the life around him.

Jean-Dominique Bauby died two days after the French publication of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. This book is a lasting testament to his life.

Review:

"A wistful, poetic, ironic and whimsically affirmative testament by a man who refused to die in spirit." The New York Times

Review:

"A book of surpassing beauty, a testament to the freedom and vitality and delight of the human mind." Oliver Sacks

Review:

"Bauby dictated, letter by letter, the 28 tiny personal essays of this book. They demonstrate indisputably Bauby's irrepressible love of life." Booklist

Review:

"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

Review:

"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....An unforgettable read." Andrew Weil

Review:

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

Review:

"One of the great books of the century....You read it at one go, so gripping is the voyage to the inner heart and mind." Financial Times

Video

About the Author

Jean-Dominique Bauby was born in France in 1952. He attended school in Paris. After working as a journalist for a number of years, Bauby became the editor-in-chief of Elle magazine in Paris in 1991. On December 8, 1995 he had a stroke which left him with the condition known as locked-in syndrome. Bauby died on March 9, 1997. He was the father of two children, Theophile and Celeste.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

HighlandMike, January 31, 2013 (view all comments by HighlandMike)
Great lyrical vignettes...The fact that this was written with one eyelid seems secondary to his original and poetic voice.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
HighlandMike, August 8, 2012 (view all comments by HighlandMike)
Elegant, sophisticated, and illuminating. Short vignettes that are poetic in their prose, and often transcendent. Bauby reflects his inner and outer worlds in ways that make us rethink and appreciate our own. The fact that he could do this all by blinking only one eye is astonishing, but really almost a side note.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307389251
Subtitle:
A Memoir of Life in Death
Author:
Bauby, Jean-Dominique
Translator:
Leggatt, Jeremy
Publisher:
Vintage
Subject:
General
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Specific Groups - Special Needs
Subject:
Periodical editors
Subject:
Cerebrovascular disease
Subject:
Health
Subject:
Bauby, Jean-Dominique - Health
Subject:
Cerebrovascular disease -- Patients -- France.
Subject:
General Biography
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage International
Publication Date:
19980623
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
8.02x5.50x.41 in. .34 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Disability

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Vintage International) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 144 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780307389251 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A wistful, poetic, ironic and whimsically affirmative testament by a man who refused to die in spirit."
"Review" by , "A book of surpassing beauty, a testament to the freedom and vitality and delight of the human mind."
"Review" by , "Bauby dictated, letter by letter, the 28 tiny personal essays of this book. They demonstrate indisputably Bauby's irrepressible love of life."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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....An unforgettable read."
"Review" by , "This heartbreaking story by a uniquely gifted writer is about transforming pain into creativity, human despair into literary miracle."
"Review" by , "One of the great books of the century....You read it at one go, so gripping is the voyage to the inner heart and mind."
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