Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of the most widely discussed and thought-provoking films of recent years.

This is the first book to explore and address the philosophical aspects of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Beginning with a helpful introduction that places each essay in context, specially commissioned chapters examine the following topics:

  • philosophical issues surrounding love, friendship, affirmation and repetition
  • the role of memory (and the emotions) in personal identity and decision-making
  • the morality of imagination and ethical importance of memory
  • philosophical questions about self-knowledge and knowing the minds of others
  • the aesthetics of the film considered in relation to Gondry's other works and issues in the philosophy of perception

Including a foreword by Michel Gondry and a list of further reading, this volume is essential reading for students interested in philosophy and film studies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Christopher Grau has assembled a series of essays that do something more than simply testify to the power of a memorable film. In an era in which memory itself has come to have an increasingly important place in cultural production and in philosophy, this collection promises to be an invaluable resource.'Frances Ferguson, Johns Hopkins University,

'Reading these essays opens fascinating vistas on one of the most philosophically interesting films of the decade - a veritable ethical and epistemological feast. A terrific addition to a new and top-notch series.'Lawrence Blum, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA

'This is a fascinating collection of insightful and accessible essays on a film that raises many important philosophical issues, such as memory, love, desire, and value. The essays both illuminate the film and also the topics themselves, which are of perennial interest. Highly recommended!'John M. Fischer, University of California, Riverside, USA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415774666
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/26/2009
  • Series: Philosophers on Film Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Grau is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University. He is the author of several essays that explore ethical issues through film, including ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the Morality of Memory’, which appeared in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. He is also the editor of Philosophers Explore The Matrix (2005).

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations vii

Contributor biographies viii

Note on the director x

Note on the screenwriter xi

Acknowledgments xii

Foreword Michel Gondry My Memory Hurts xiii

1 Introduction Christopher Grau 1

2 Two Blue Ruins: Love and Memory in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind C. D. C. Reeve 15

3 Miserably ever after: Forgetting, Repeating and Affirming Love in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Troy Jollimore 31

4 Bad Memories, Good Decisions, and the Three Joels Valerie Tiberius 62

5 Memory, Desire, and Value in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Julia Driver 80

6 Michel Gondry and the phenomenology of Visual Perception Stephen L.White 94

7 Trying to Remember Clementine George Toles 111

Index 158

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