FROM OUT OF THE DEPTHS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN COME TORRENTS OF FRIGHTENING, FUNNY, FURIOUS, GRIEVING LAUGHTER, THE LAUGHTER OF MAD SCIENCE. MANY DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THIS LAUGHTER IN OVERLAPPING WAVES CONVEY A VARIETY OF SENSES: AN INFINITY OF WORLDS, MOVEMENTS BETWEEN MICRO- AND MACROCOSMS, THE EDGE OF SANITY, HILARITY, VOID, UNLOCATABLE SOURCES. THIS LAUGHTER GOES ON FOR ALMOST TOO LONG, THEN QUICKLY RECEDES INTO TRANQUIL, PASTORAL AMBIENCE: QUIET BIRDSONG, A GENTLY BABBLING BROOK, A LOW VOICE HUMMING IN THE FOREGROUND, GIGGLING NYMPHS AND YOUNG SHEPHERDS IN CHASE IN THE BACKGROUND, SENSUOUS, IDYLLIC, LUDICROUS. FADE OUT.



What does the madness of mad science consist of? This essay is a lightly revised version of a paper I gave in November, 2005, at the annual meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. I include it here to provide context for the radio play.