Monday, December 10, 2007

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

My dear Hubby, knowing my love of all things bookish, sent me a recommendation for a book that served as inspiration for the new movie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The story is a memoir written by Jean-Dominique Bauby, the former editor-in-chief of the French magazine Elle, who suffered a cerebrovascular accident to his brain stem at the age of 44.

In times of less sophisticated medicine, such a catastrophe would surely have been fatal but Bauby survived, a victim of Locked In Syndrome, unable to control any part of his body but his left eyelid. Through a painstaking method that involves a scribe reciting the entire alphabet in a sequence of letters most frequently used, Bauby dictated this short memoir during July and August of 1996.

The story begins with Bauby's descriptions of daily life and about how his trapped body still feels discomfort, though he cannot even reposition an aching shoulder or ask to have a too-loud television set turned down. He tells of his mental travels to places far away and gourmet meals he consumes in his imagination while being fed via gastric tube. The final chapter tells of the day he suffered the stroke and how ordinarily the day began. A day, supposedly, like any other.

This book is very touching and I highly recommend it to everyone as solemn reminder to enjoy every single day because life can indeed change in the "blink of an eye."


Susan said...

That sounds like a very interesting book. What a horrible way to live, though, trapped inside one's self!

Nancy said...

Hey. I just the other day, honestly, the other day, read that an outstanding MOVIE has been made of this.

Nancy said...

So I put in a request at the Library for it. Not that I don't have four library books on the stand already . . . .

Lynn said...

Love your blog! I especially love the picture of your and your handsome suitor!

Your quilts are beautiful!