SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: The Diving Bell & The Butterfly

| No Comments

I would like to point everyone to a stunning film and the book behind it (see/read both!) ...

"Anyone who has read Jean-Dominique Bauby's slim, extraordinary 1997 memoir "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" is likely to wonder how it could possibly be made into a movie. In 1995 Bauby, then 43 and the editor of French Elle, suffered a stroke that left him incapable of speaking and barely able to move, the victim of a rare condition known as locked-in syndrome. The one part of his body he could control was his left eyelid, and so Bauby learned to communicate by blinking. He wrote the book by working with an assistant, who would slowly recite a special alphabet; Bauby would blink to select the letters he wanted. In this way, letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence, Bauby built "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" -- to say "wrote" seems barely adequate, considering the mental discipline and physical effort the book must have cost him. Bauby died just two days after the book's publication in France, but what he left behind is a small wonder of architecture, an intimate structure in which the reader and the narrator find a private, shared space with windows that open out onto the vastness of the world. It's the very opposite of locked-in. ...
... The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" suggests -- perhaps it even proves -- that our capacity for joy, and our ability to process it through whatever senses are available to us, are more durable than we think. In his book, Bauby wrote about how although his ability to hear the outside world had been somewhat impaired, the hearing inside his head had changed dramatically. He wrote of being aware of the butterflies "that flutter inside my head. To hear them, one must be calm and pay close attention, for their wingbeats are barely audible. Loud breathing is enough to drown them out. This is astonishing: My hearing does not improve, yet I hear them better and better. I must have butterfly hearing."


Press on arrow for 'play'


Leave a comment