Marathon of Madness: Annual marathon reading event covers psychological themes

Students gather at the 2014 marathon reading event to listen to the reading of three novels based on the theme of banned books. Credit: Department of Comparative LiteratureAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The 2015 edition of the Marathon of Madness, a marathon reading event, will feature 10 different pieces of literature on madness and psychological themes read aloud over a 24-hour span. The event will kick off with a reading of "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka and end with "Turn of the Screw" by Henry James.

Anyone can volunteer for a two- to five-minute reading slot, and class or group participation is encouraged by signing up for a larger block of time. In addition, selected speakers will take turns reading. In the past, these speakers have included President Eric Barron, women’s volleyball Coach Russ Rose and Distinguished Alumna Sue Paterno.

Each title will be available to read in English, as well as the language it was originally published in, and readers are welcome to sign up to read in Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.

The event runs from noon on Thursday, Sept. 24 into Friday, Sept. 25 on the Pattee Mall. Volunteers will receive pizza, donuts, and T-shirts for participation. For more information and to sign up in advance, email or visit

Event sponsors include the College of the Liberal Arts; Paterno Fellows Program; School of Languages and Literatures; Center for Global Studies; Department of English, Department of Comparative Literature; Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese; Department of French and Francophone Studies; Department of Asian Studies; Department of German and Slavic Languages and Literatures; Department of Women’s Studies; Center for Democratic Deliberation; and the Center for American Literary Studies.

Last Updated September 21, 2015