The Compassion Protocol

Herve Guibert, Author, James Kirkup, Translator, James Kirkuo, Translator
Herve Guibert, Author, James Kirkup, Translator, James Kirkuo, Translator George Braziller $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8076-1352-8
Hardcover - 200 pages - 978-0-7043-0245-7
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No longer able to tolerate the drug AZT, former Le Monde journalist Guibert ( To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life ) was accorded a reprieve from imminent death by the experimental drug DDI, which enabled him to record his experience of dying from AIDS on paper and film. Except for occasional flashes of wry humor, he notes with amazing detachment the almost constant pain, depression and humiliation inflicted on him by his weakened body, reduced to ``a kind of skeleton draped with a few rare rags of muscle.'' Along with noting harrowing tests and treatments, this journal-like account, in a fine, idiomatic translation, vividly portrays lovers, doctors and other AIDS victims--``young corpses with burning eyes.'' Prematurely aged by his disease, all sexual activity quelled, Guibert's curiosity and appreciation of life are intensified, as seen in his reaction to the charms of a woman doctor or in his observations on the predatory nature of insects. Most of all, Guibert declares, ``It's when I'm writing that I feel most alive.'' He died in 1991, aged 36. (Mar.)
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