March Madness, 1974

Creative Work
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"March Madness, 1974" is a fictionalized work in found-text form by Richard Holeton. The text splices together real and imagined events, which take place over the course of a month in March, 1974. The fictionalized story follows two students, named "R" and "U," who fall in love while studying at the Stanford overseas campus in Tours, France.

The month begins with news of Richard Nixon's indictment for his role in the Watergate scandal. The daily entries are, in part, a record of current events and cover a range of topics including: politics, crime, economics and celebrity drama. These news bites are cut together without context. However, the most recurring themes are those of death and disaster: a major airplane crash, a deepening global recession and missing and murdered college women. Despite the atmosphere of dread, as evoked by the news media, the youth remain optimistic and the final entry describes the couple venturing out into the world "full of hope."

In terms of the factulaity of the story, some of the 'news' appears to be clipped directly from the headlines. However, certain facts, like the day serial killer Ted Bundy murdered his first victim, were not publically known at the time. The narrator's special knowledge of events further blurs the divisions between "found" and "made" text. As one of the reports reads: "It can be hard to tell the real signals from the false ones" (March Madness, 1974, March 13).

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Chelsea Miya