“De simple malade j’étais devenu un handicapé”: Interrogating the Construction of ‘Disability’ in Jean-Dominique Bauby’s Le scaphandre et le papillon

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Jean-Dominique Bauby’s moving autopathography, Le Scaphandre et le papillon, combines reflections on life with Locked-In Syndrome and memories from his “première vie” to create an evocative depiction of his shift in subject-position from ‘non-disabled’ to ‘disabled’. His text subtly challenges outdated notions of disability by celebrating its creative and intellectual potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-92
Number of pages14
JournalL'Esprit Créateur
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2016


  • Disability
  • French literature
  • medical humanities

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