Jean-Dominique Bauby - WikipediaTheoretical Medicine and Bioethics. Jean Dominique Bauby, former editor of Elle , suffereda stroke to his brain stem that left him with locked-in syndrome. Subsequently, through blinking his left eye, he writes his memoirof this experience, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Thispaper explores the meaning of embodiment, especially as one'sbody bears upon one's personal identity. It explores the variouschallenges and threats to selfhood that result from Bauby'sexperience and recounts how Bauby rises to the challenge throughhis memory and imagination. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
It is commonly said that everyone has one novel in them. Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor of French Elle , had a contract with a publishing house to write a book based on his favourite book, The Count of Monte Cristo. He moved from the wish to die, to live and dictated a novel of his experience, by blinking one eyelid, to a dedicated assistant. Watching a film about illness was not appealing on a winter's evening after surgery. It is fortunate that we have friends who make us do things we choose not to. The film opens with Bauby coming round from his initial coma to find himself in a neurological and rehabilitation facility by the sea, in the same town where he holidayed as a child. We are drawn into Bauby's unfocussed realisation that no one can hear him, and that there is something seriously amiss.
You would have to have a hard heart to watch Julian Schnabel's new film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly , without at least coming close to shedding a few tears. It tells the remarkable story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the glamorous editor-in-chief of French Elle, left paralysed apart from one blinking, roving eye following a catastrophic illness. Disaster strikes in December Bauby leans back on his luxury headrest, eyes wide with fear, mouth twisting grossly. He has had a cerebrovascular seizure, a type of stroke, which puts him in a coma for three weeks, and from which he emerges unable to talk, move or perform any of the basic functions of life. His children - he is given three in the film, though in reality he had just two - are shown struggling to behave normally.
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