The Diving Bell and the Butterfly : A Memoir of Life in Death
by Jean-Dominique Bauby, Jeremy Leggatt
Editor: Random House USA Inc
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In 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby was editor-in-chief of Elle français, the father of two young children, aged 44, the man known and loved for his spirit, style and passionate approach to life.By the end of the year, he has also been the victim of some kind of rare brain stem avc.After 20 days of coma, Bauby woke up in a body that had stopped working: only his left eye worked, which allowed him to see and, by blinking, to make it clear that his mind was intact.Almost miraculously, he was soon able to express himself in the richest details: dictate one word at a time, blinking his eyes to select each letter of the alphabet was recited slowly, again and again.In the same way, he was finally able to compose this extraordinary bookBy turns nostalgic, mischievous, angry and witty, Bauby testifies to his determination to live fully in his mind as he had been able to do it in his body.He explains the joy and deep sadness of seeing his children and hearing his father’s old man hear his voice on the phone.In the magical sequences, he imagines you travel to other places and at times and lying next to the woman he loves.Feeded only intravenously, it imagines the preparation and tasting of all the flavours of delectable dishes.Again and again, he refers to an “inexhaustible reservoir of sensations,” to “keep in touch with himself and life around him.Jean-Dominique Bauby died two days after the publication in French of “le scaphandre et Le Papillon”.This book is a long testimony to his life
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