The diving bell and the butterfly : a memoir of life in death / Jean-Dominique Bauby ; translated from the French by Jeremy Leggatt.

By: Bauby, Jean-Dominique, 1952-1997Material type: TextTextLanguage: English Original language: French Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1998, c1997Edition: 1st Vintage International edDescription: 131 p. ; 20 cmISBN: 0375701214 (pbk.) :; 9780375701214 (pbk.)Uniform titles: Scaphandre et le papillon. English Subject(s): Bauby, Jean-Dominique, 1952-1997. -- Health | Cerebrovascular disease -- Patients -- France -- Biography | Periodical editors -- France -- BiographyDDC classification: 362.196810092 | B LOC classification: RC388.5 .B39513 1998
Contents:
Prologue -- The wheelchair -- Prayer -- Bathtime -- The alphabet -- The empress -- Cinecittà -- Tourists -- The sausage -- Guardian Angel -- The photo -- Yet another coincidence -- The dream -- Voice offstage -- My lucky day -- Our very own Madonna -- Through a glass, darkly -- Paris -- The vegetable -- Outing -- Twenty to one -- The duck hunt -- Sunday -- The ladies of Hong Kong -- The message -- At the wax museum -- The mythmaker -- "A day in the life" -- Season of renewal.
Summary: The author, former editor of French Elle magazine, describes the rare stroke to the brain stem that left his mind intact in a nearly totally paralyzed body.
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Translation of Le scaphandre et le papillon.

Originally published by Éditions Robert Laffont, Paris, in 1997.

"Vintage International."

Prologue -- The wheelchair -- Prayer -- Bathtime -- The alphabet -- The empress -- Cinecittà -- Tourists -- The sausage -- Guardian Angel -- The photo -- Yet another coincidence -- The dream -- Voice offstage -- My lucky day -- Our very own Madonna -- Through a glass, darkly -- Paris -- The vegetable -- Outing -- Twenty to one -- The duck hunt -- Sunday -- The ladies of Hong Kong -- The message -- At the wax museum -- The mythmaker -- "A day in the life" -- Season of renewal.

The author, former editor of French Elle magazine, describes the rare stroke to the brain stem that left his mind intact in a nearly totally paralyzed body.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Two days after this remarkable book was published in France to great acclaim, its author died of heart failure. What caused such a stir was the method Bauby used to write it. For in December 1995, the 44-year-old former editor-in-chief of the French Elle magazine had suffered a severe stroke that left his body paralyzed but his mind intact, a condition known as "locked-in syndrome." Able to communicate only by blinking his left eyelid, he dictated this book letter by letter to an assistant who recited to him a special alphabet. The result is a marvelous, compelling account of Bauby's life as a "vegetable," full of humor and devoid of self-pity. Although he was trapped in the diving bell of his body, Bauby's imagination "takes flight like a butterflyy....You can wander off in space or in time, set out for Tierra del Fuego or for King Midas's court." His celebration of life against all odds is highly recommended. [Julia Tavalro, who suffers from the same condition, has also written an excellent account, Look Up for Yes, LJ 2/1/97.‘Ed.]‘Wilda Williams, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Bauby wrote this memoir with the blink of an eye. After a stroke, in his 45th year, Bauby is first in a coma and then in a condition called locked-in syndrome, a paralysis that makes him feel as if his body is imprisoned in a diving bell. Within this bell, however, is movement: his "mind takes flight like a butterfly." Transformed from editor in chief of French Elle to the likes, as he points out, of Dumas' Noirtier de Villefort, he experiences each sensation in the present and in memory with great intensity, the smell of French fries, his daughter Celeste singing "Poor Little Rich Girl," the recollections of shaving his father or of soaking in the tub, a Scotch and a good book in hand. He remembers, imagines, and dreams. He learns about his true nature and about others, who respond to his paralysis with anger, fear, or compassion. Bauby is eventually taught an alphabet which allows him to put into words this interior life by blinking his left eye, and this memoir--published in French as Scaphandre et le papillon two days before his death--testifies to the richness of human consciousness despite the body's oppressive entrapment in the diving bell. Highly recommended for all collections. S. Vander Closter; Rhode Island School of Design

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Jean-Dominique Bauby was just 43 years old when he suffered a massive stroke. At the time, he was a magazine editor. While the stroke spared Bauby's life and mind, it left him paralyzed. Self-described as "like a mind in a jar," Bauby was unable to move or speak. His only means of communication was his ability to blink his left eyelid. Before this condition claimed his life, Bauby painfully put his experiences and wisdom into the books, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, by correlating eye-blinking patterns and the French alphabet for transcription.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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