TDB&TB Question #26 ~ The Final Question

by Jean-Dominique Bauby

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TDB&TB Question #26 ~ The Final Question

Unread postby Liz » Fri May 30, 2008 10:25 am

Here we are again.....at the end of another discussion. :-/ Thank you all for another very deep discussion. :notworthy: Our final question:

Is there anything that you would like to comment on that was not covered by our questions?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

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Unread postby suec » Fri May 30, 2008 5:03 pm

Thank you moderators for selecting this book and for the thought-provoking questions as always, and to everyone for the discussions. :thanks!:
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Fri May 30, 2008 7:23 pm

You are so efficient! :cool: Can't think of a thing you didn't cover... :-? And thanks for doing such a great job of enriching this book with the tidbits! My brain doesn't allow for deep thinking, but I sure appreciated all of you who really dug in and added depth and breadth to this story! :applause2: It's one I'll remember.
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Unread postby Parlez » Fri May 30, 2008 7:41 pm

This has been a great discussion about a great book! Thanks, mods, for taking us deeper, as you always do, via the tidbits and discussion questions. :cool:

I'll just take this opportunity to do my little comparison between TDB&TB and another one of my favorite books, Happy Days. I was immediately stuck by the similarities. For anyone who hasn't read HD, ye be warned - there be spoilers to follow.

First of all, there are the obvious similarities in size (short) and culture (French). They're both first-person narratives, written my French men who are in the 'prime of life' - with families and having achieved a certain level of success - when their lives abruptly change course. At that point, both men find themselves in passive, observer, roles; watching the action from the sidelines, as it were. Their observations are similarly witty, sarcastic, and ironic as they assess themselves and their environments. Their circumstances are similar in that they are rendered 'needy', as in needing to be taken care of by others, as opposed to being the self-sufficient providers they were before. They both enter their new circumstances with essentially nothing; all the 'stuff' from their former lives is gone, leaving them with no choice but to detach from the things that gave them a sense of identity in the past. What remains is the heart of both stories, as both men are reduced to their elemental selves. This happens as a result of Time being suspended in a way that leads both men to a completely different level of consciousness, or awareness, where Being in the Moment is the only option open to them.

So what's the diff?? It's a huge one! Antoine chooses his fate, whilst Jean-Do does not! Antoine volunteers to enter into such a life described above, for the purpose of living the remainer of his days moment by moment; Jean-Do is forced into that scenario by catastrophe.

Somehow, I find that incredibly...ironic...that two stories could be so similar in terms of outcome and so utterly different in terms of motivation.

Well, there you have it - my report. :writer2: Merci!
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Unread postby gemini » Fri May 30, 2008 7:58 pm

I really enjoyed our discussion, the book, and the film. The only part of it all that ever bothered me was that his real true love Florence who did visit in real life, was made to look like she deserted him. It was clear in the film that he still loved her so I really wished they had not pushed that the mother of his children was there daily, since in real life she took the children but did not visit much.
Here is a paragraph from our tidbit comparing the movie to reality.
His girlfriend, Florence, was at the hospital day after day spending time with him. (De la Rochefoucauld was at that point his ex.) In the book, de la Rochefoucauld is only mentioned in one bittersweet chapter in which she brings the children to the hospital to celebrate Father's Day for the first time, and they experience a wonderful day on the beach together.

Still in all, I was glad to have got to know Jean Do.
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Unread postby fansmom » Fri May 30, 2008 9:40 pm

Fascinating comparison, Parlez! I hadn't thought of those similarities. :cool:

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri May 30, 2008 9:54 pm

Nice comparison, Parlez! :cool: Are there any other Johnny related books or characters that come to mind for any of you with regard to this book?
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Unread postby nebraska » Fri May 30, 2008 10:39 pm

I echo thanks to our marvelous moderators and all the participants for a great discussion. The tidbits are a never-ending source of amazement to me. We are fortunate to have such talented leaders! :bounce:

Parlez, excellent comparison to Happy Days.

I really can't think of anything that I need to add, but I have this vague sense that something is left undone. The book/movie/discussion really affected me and I guess I just haven't settled all my thoughts and feelings into neat compartments yet.

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Unread postby Liz » Fri May 30, 2008 11:56 pm

fansmom wrote:Fascinating comparison, Parlez! I hadn't thought of those similarities. :cool:

I hadn’t either. But I see it now. :-O


Gemini, I feel the same as you. But I have a question. When I watched the movie again last weekend I wondered about the woman with the dark hair in the beginning of the movie putting pictures on Jean-Do’s wall. Was that Florence? Does anyone know?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Liz » Fri May 30, 2008 11:59 pm

nebraska wrote:I echo thanks to our marvelous moderators and all the participants for a great discussion. The tidbits are a never-ending source of amazement to me. We are fortunate to have such talented leaders! :bounce:

Parlez, excellent comparison to Happy Days.

I really can't think of anything that I need to add, but I have this vague sense that something is left undone. The book/movie/discussion really affected me and I guess I just haven't settled all my thoughts and feelings into neat compartments yet.

That’s OK, Nebraska. I’m sure many are feeling reverberations from Jean-Do as we speak. And that is a tribute to him. I’m sure he would want you to continue to contemplate his book. Also, if you have anything to add later, please feel free. We’ve got a bit of time before the next discussion….and tidbits. We’re a bit behind. :blush:


And Betty Sue, you are very deep…..and brave too--for being the first to answer so often.
:cool:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby suec » Sat May 31, 2008 7:13 am

Liz wrote:
fansmom wrote:Fascinating comparison, Parlez! I hadn't thought of those similarities. :cool:

I hadn’t either. But I see it now. :-O


Gemini, I feel the same as you. But I have a question. When I watched the movie again last weekend I wondered about the woman with the dark hair in the beginning of the movie putting pictures on Jean-Do’s wall. Was that Florence? Does anyone know?


Liz, it was the same actress at the beginning and end of the film before he dies, and also at their home although the woman is given a different name.

At the beginning:
Image

At the end of the film:
Image

I didn't capture the subtitles for her words the last scene but they are: "I was always there. You know that".

We also see a shot of her where she is watching Jean-Do drive away for the last time on that fateful day. I didn't take a still of it but it's definitely the same actress. I agree with you Liz and gemini about the way she's presented.

Parlez, nice comparison. :cool:


And Betty Sue, you are very deep…..and brave too--for being the first to answer so often.


I second that! :applause:
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sat May 31, 2008 10:10 am

You guys are toooo kind!! :blush: :kiss:
Parlez, A+ on your report! :cool:
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Unread postby Liz » Sat May 31, 2008 12:22 pm

Thanks, Suec, for the screencaps. I either totally missed or forgot about her words at the end. And the trouble with watching it with the commentary (which was my most recent viewing of it) is that there are no subtitles.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby fansmom » Sat May 31, 2008 12:58 pm

I have to say the same thing I say at the end of every discussion: I really enjoy the ONBC. Makes me feel :reader: less solitary.

:bouquet: to everyone who participates, but especially our moderators. You guys rock!

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:25 pm

Thanks, fansmom but it's you all :ONBC: that keep us going!

We hope to see you all for The Club Dumas!
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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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