Literary March Madness
Posted on Friday, March 25th, 2016 by Austin Gerth
Lemme be forthright with you all for a moment here: I don’t really even know what March Madness is. Like I get that it’s a basketball tournament, and that people make brackets about it, but that’s basically all I know. Luckily, nerdy folks like myself have come up with their own reasons to make brackets for random stuff this month. I can think of two examples on campus: the library and the English Department, both of which have created book-themed March Madness tournaments for folks like me who have perhaps used the expression “nothin’ but net” in inappropriate contexts before but who otherwise know little about hoop-based sports.
The English Department’s March Madness thing has been going on for a little while. Last year it pitted authors against each other, this year it’s doing the same with their characters. First round match-ups included Hamlet vs. Hester Prynne of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice vs. Jay Gatsby. I ended up with two other characters from The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway and Jordan Baker, as my top two, with Baker winning because she’s just so cool. Winners in the match-ups are determined by English department faculty and students through largely arbitrary conditions. At this point the tournament is a few rounds deep, and my bracket has, unfortunately, not been successful.