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Cytomegalovirus: A Hospitalization Diary

Cytomegalovirus: A Hospitalization Diary

Introduction by David Caron
Afterword by Todd Meyers
Translated by Clara Orban
Copyright Date: 1996
Published by: Fordham University
Pages: 96
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  • Book Info
    Cytomegalovirus: A Hospitalization Diary
    Book Description:

    By the time of his death, Herve Guibert had become a singular literary voice on the impact of AIDS in France. He was prolific. His oeuvre contained some twenty novels, including To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life and The Compassion Protocol. He was thirty-six years old. In Cytomegalovirus, Guibert offers an autobiographical narrative of the everyday moments of his hospitalization because of complications of AIDS. Cytomegalovirus is spare, biting, and anguished. Guibert writes through the minutiae of living and of death--as a quality of invention, of melancholy, of small victories in the face of greater threats--at the moment when his sight (and life) is eclipsed. This new edition includes an Introduction and Afterword contextualizing Guibert's work within the history of the AIDS pandemic, its relevance in the contemporary moment, and the importance of understanding the quotidian aspects of terminal illness.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-6860-3
    Subjects: Health Sciences
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. INTRODUCTION: Respect, One Dessert Spoon at a Time
    (pp. 1-26)

    There is an extraordinary scene in Hervé Guibert’s short, unsparing hospital diary,Cytomegalovirus. Hervé, the narrator, is being prepped for the eye operation that could add some time and a degree of comfort to his life but might also make him—a photographer and lover of beautiful boys—lose his sight. “There is an eye at stake,” he notes, and it sounds almost like an understatement. Cytomegalovirus, a form of herpes normally harmless to otherwise healthy people, killed a great number of people with AIDS at the time the book takes place. And Hervé is so ill, so weak. In...

  4. Cytomegalovirus: A Hospitalization Diary
    (pp. 27-74)

    Vision in my right eye is shot: difficulty reading. Listen to music: not yet deaf.

    A young woman with a very beautiful, made- up face, who looked a little Asian, lying unconscious on an abandoned stretcher in a radiology corridor, very red lips, and something on her uncovered neck which I at first thought was a wound, as if someone had tried to cut her throat, but which apparently turned out to be a long smear of lipstick.

    Waiting behind a window before the abdominal ultrasound: you can see the hospital visitors descend the escalator and move toward one ward...

  5. AFTERWORD: Remainders
    (pp. 75-82)
    Todd Meyers

    Thirty years have passed since Robert Gallo identified the retrovirus associated with AIDS, while at the same time in France, Luc Montagnier and colleagues at the Institut Pasteur isolated a “lymphadenopathy-associated virus” (LAV), the virus now called HIV.¹ This moment of mutual discovery, heralded and eternized, was not a turning point but occurred along a continuum of uncertainty, controversy, legacy, anger, and loss—and in our present moment, such loss has evolved to include overwriting (historical, fantastical) and distancing (geographical, generational).

    The year of Hervé Guibert’s death is the year the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposes to...

    (pp. 83-88)
    Clara Orban