“Recordings of amplified crayfish nerve tissue, the pages of Bibles turning, water hitting copper plates, liposuction” (Gewertz 2002). This is a list of some of the sounds included in the recordings of the electronic music duo Matmos, composed of M. C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel. Matmos takes its name from the 1968 sci-fi film Barbarella, where the Matmos is, according to a character called the Concierge, “a very curious lake, composed like you and I of living energy, but energy in liquid form, and it watches us,” converting our “negative psychic vibrations” into life force. Daniel is also the author of two scholarly monographs on Renaissance literature, The Melancholy Assemblage: Affect and Epistemology in the English Renaissance (2013) and now Joy of the Worm: Suicide and Pleasure in Early Modern English Literature. The wager of the latter book is that some of the Renaissance’s literary explorations of...

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