The Wow Climax: Tracing the Emotional Impact of Popular Culture

by Henry Jenkins

NYU Press | December 24, 2006 | Hardcover

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Henry Jenkins at Authors@Google (video)

Vaudevillians used the term "the wow climax" to refer to the emotional highpoint of their acts—a final moment of peak spectacle following a gradual building of audience''s emotions. Viewed by most critics as vulgar and sensationalistic, the vaudeville aesthetic was celebrated by other writers for its vitality, its liveliness, and its playfulness.

The Wow Climax follows in the path of this more laudatory tradition, drawing out the range of emotions in popular culture and mapping what we might call an aesthetic of immediacy. It pulls together a spirited range of work from Henry Jenkins, one of our most astute media scholars, that spans different media (film, television, literature, comics, games), genres (slapstick, melodrama, horror, exploitation cinema), and emotional reactions (shock, laughter, sentimentality). Whether highlighting the sentimentality at the heart of the Lassie franchise, examining the emotional experiences created by horror filmmakers like Wes Craven and David Cronenberg and avant garde artist Matthew Barney, or discussing the emerging aesthetics of video games, these essays get to the heart of what gives popular culture its emotional impact.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 in

Published: December 24, 2006

Publisher: NYU Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0814742823

ISBN - 13: 9780814742822

Found in: Current Events

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– More About This Product –

The Wow Climax: Tracing the Emotional Impact of Popular Culture

by Henry Jenkins

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 in

Published: December 24, 2006

Publisher: NYU Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0814742823

ISBN - 13: 9780814742822

From the Publisher

Henry Jenkins at Authors@Google (video)

Vaudevillians used the term "the wow climax" to refer to the emotional highpoint of their acts—a final moment of peak spectacle following a gradual building of audience''s emotions. Viewed by most critics as vulgar and sensationalistic, the vaudeville aesthetic was celebrated by other writers for its vitality, its liveliness, and its playfulness.

The Wow Climax follows in the path of this more laudatory tradition, drawing out the range of emotions in popular culture and mapping what we might call an aesthetic of immediacy. It pulls together a spirited range of work from Henry Jenkins, one of our most astute media scholars, that spans different media (film, television, literature, comics, games), genres (slapstick, melodrama, horror, exploitation cinema), and emotional reactions (shock, laughter, sentimentality). Whether highlighting the sentimentality at the heart of the Lassie franchise, examining the emotional experiences created by horror filmmakers like Wes Craven and David Cronenberg and avant garde artist Matthew Barney, or discussing the emerging aesthetics of video games, these essays get to the heart of what gives popular culture its emotional impact.

Editorial Reviews

“Offers a lively, diligently researched, and well-written account of one scholar''s engagement with the emotional punch of media.”
-PsycCRITIQUES

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