In this Book

Of Elephants and Toothaches
summary
This collection is the first to offer a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to Krzysztof Kieslowski's Decalogue, a ten-film cycle of modern tales that touch on the ethical dilemmas of the Ten Commandments. The cycle's deft handling of moral ambiguity and inventive technique established Kieslowski as a major international director. Kieslowski once said, "Both the deep believer and the habitual skeptic experience toothaches in exactly the same way." Of Elephants and Toothaches takes seriously the range of thought, from theological to skeptical, condensed in the cycle's quite human tales. Bringing together scholars of film, philosophy, literature, and several religions, the volume ranges from individual responsibility, to religion in modernity, to familial bonds, to human desire and material greed. It explores Kieslowski's cycle as it relentlessly solicits an ethical response that stimulates both inner disquiet and interpersonal dialogue.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-viii
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  1. Introduction: “Within unrest, there is always a question”
  2. Eva Badowska, Francesca Parmeggiani
  3. pp. 1-14
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  1. 1. Rules and Virtues: The Moral Insight of The Decalogue
  2. William Jaworski
  3. pp. 15-29
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  1. 2. Tablets of Stone, Tablets of Flesh: Synesthetic Appeal in The Decalogue
  2. Joseph G. Kickasola
  3. pp. 30-50
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  1. 3. Decalogue One: Witnessing a Responsible Ethics of Response from a Jewish Perspective
  2. Moshe Gold
  3. pp. 51-79
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  1. 4. Visual Reverberations: Decalogue Two and Decalogue Eight
  2. Eva M. Stadler
  3. pp. 80-94
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  1. 5. Remember the Sabbath Day, to Keep It Holy: Decalogue Three
  2. Joseph W. Koterski, S.J.
  3. pp. 95-107
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  1. 6. Decalogue Four: The Mother up in Smoke, or “Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother”
  2. Gabriella Ripa di Meana
  3. pp. 108-121
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  1. 7. Decalogue Five: A Short Film about Killing, Sin, and Community
  2. Michael Baur
  3. pp. 122-139
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  1. 8. States of Exception: Politics and Poetics in Decalogue Six
  2. Eva Badowska
  3. pp. 140-164
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  1. 9. Decalogue Seven: A Tale of Love, Failing Words, and Moving Images
  2. Francesca Parmeggiani
  3. pp. 165-180
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  1. 10. Decalogue Eight: Childhood, Emotion, and the Shoah
  2. Emma Wilson
  3. pp. 181-196
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  1. 11. Divine Possession: Metaphysical Covetousness in Decalogue Nine
  2. Philip Sicker
  3. pp. 197-215
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  1. 12. Laughter Makes Good Neighbors: Sociability and the Comic in Decalogue Ten
  2. Regina Small
  3. pp. 216-230
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 231-232
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 233-236
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 237-244
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