The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Background

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Background

The genesis of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is both incredibly unique and exceptionally fascinating. Written -- or perhaps more appropriately, dictated -- by French journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby after suffering a massive stroke which left him almost completely paralyzed (also called "Locked-in syndrome"). He did, however, have limited movement in his eyes and head. In fact, this book was dictated by Bauby with only his left eye. Working 4 hours per day for over 10 months, a transcriber went through the French alphabet letter-by-letter and Bauby blinked when the letter matched what he wanted to spell. After all of that effort, the book received rapturously positive reviews and was a massive bestseller in both Europe and in countries across the world.

In that vein, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is Bauby's memoir, telling the story of his life before and most notably, after the stroke that left him mostly unable to move. He explores not only how his life dramatically changed after his stroke, but how he lived his life day-to-day with locked-in-syndrome.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was adapted into a film of the same name in 2007. It was directed by Julian Schnabel and received incredibly positive reviews. Roger Ebert loved the film, awarding it 4 stars and wrote that the film was "heroic."

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