by Michael J. Seidlinger
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Pub Date 01 Dec 2022 | Archive Date 01 Jan 2023
A rich examination of the universal expression that bridges language and geography.
The first thing human beings do is scream. Whether out of fear, anger, sadness, or happiness, the scream is a declaration of being alive.
The metal vocalist cupping the microphone blares out a deafeningly harsh scream. The drill instructor screams out commands to their soldiers. Villains draw out bloodcurdling screams in horror films. A scream has many meanings, but it is an instinctive and reflexive action that, at its core, reveals raw emotion.
Investigating popular and alternative cultures, art, and science, Michael J. Seidlinger tracks the resonance of the scream across media and literature. In compelling, engaging prose, he highlights the complexities and power of this form of vocalization as something to appreciate, savor, and understand.
This book is the latest in the Object Lessons series. Published in association with The Atlantic, it explores the hidden lives of ordinary things and what they can teach us about ourselves and the modern world.
“From Slipknot to Edvard Munch to John Carpenter and back into his own body, Seidlinger reminds us all why we scream. As a singer, this one really hit home!”
—Geoff Rickly, lead singer of Thursday
“Seidlinger dissects the emotional complexity of the scream and analyzes the way it highjacks the rational mind. An unforgettable ode to auditory extremes.”
—Jim Ruland, author of Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise & Fall of SST Records
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