What Does Gulliver’s Travels Have in Common with The Agony of Victory

Many authors are influenced by the past and present literature they read. That’s sometimes how they get new ideas, get ideas for characters, plot line and scenes. This is especially true in fiction.

And it is also true for my book, The Agony of Victory. Gulliver’s Travels influence my characters, among other aspects of my book.

In my book, do the coach’s travels through the academic world of  symbolic Lagado have any parallel with  Gulliver’s Travels through the old Grand Academy of Lagado?  Our coach in The Agony of Victory, and his friends try to understand the world and maybe tend to mock it.  Perhaps Jonathon Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels,  went a bit too far in his mocking of the world of 1726,  but what do our characters say about it? Psychology says that there is tension in the Middle East; Sociology says several regimes in Latin America are shaky, Deluge says China is a mess. Sociology says the natives are restless everywhere. “You are describing the world as she has been and is.” summarized  Deluge. Then Deluge asked the restaurateur what he thought  of the state of the world. “”Shezza still here,” assured Gus. Which makes us think that Jonathan Swift was a bit too pessimistic.

Writing fiction requires that aspiring authors read widely to feed his or her imagination. Just so you know, reading widely is just fun too.


Twisted words revealed from The Agony of Victory

Okay. One Monday I published the next installment of Words that take us for a twist, and today come the connections between how I used the words in my book, The Agony of Victory, and their traditional meaning.

  • Mores and Lesses    (Mores, of course refers to customs.)
  • Agnes Day- lamb of God
  • Gloria mundi –worldly glory which passes
  • Pandora –longing for everything.

That’s a wrap for the twisted words posts. Hopefully you found them interesting. There’s more to come, stay tuned.


Words that take us for a twist: Part 2

In the spirit of my first installment of Words that take us for a twist, I mentioned five characters from my book, The Agony of Victory. Then, a few days later, I released the connections of these words to my book.

Since language can be very pliable, I’m giving you a few more twisted words from my book.  As with last time, your challenge is to guess where I have twisted them and put your answer in the comment section below:

  • Chapter “Mores and Lesses”
  • Agnes Day
  • Gloria Monday
  • Pandora Potts

Just like last time, I’ll release the answers on Wednesday.


Blog Follow Up: Words that take us for a twist

Okay, so on Monday I posted Words that take us for a twist, where I introduced some characters from my book, which was influence by French literature, among other genres. Today, you can learn how these words are connected to the characters of my book. So, here we go:

  • Dean Kvetch: Kvetch is Yiddist for nag.
  • Coach Eddy: Eddy is a symbol of time.
  • The Count—the usual expression is trempe d’oeil – a picture that deceives the eye, Trempe d’aieul, deceived about his ancestors. Is the guy really a count?
  • Auto da Fe, the Spanish visitor and descendant of the famous Spanish humanitarian.
  • President Allwiess: Allwiess means know-it-all in German.

Now that you know connection between a few characters and my book, The Agony of Victory, are you wondering what else there is to this book? Well, stay tuned for our next installment.


Words that take us for a twist

One of the great things writers do is play linguistic gymnastics with words. We borrow from history to color are present with double meaning of words and phrases, which makes our writing rich and deep with meaning.

In my book, I used a lot of illusions from European literature and words to give my characters depth and you a chuckle when you caught a double meaning. So, here in my blog, I’d like to play a guessing game. Today I’ll give you several characters from my book and it’s up to you to guess there literary meeting

For example, in The Agony of Victory, I use the word comendatore to refer to the college benefactor. The commendatore I’m referencing is akin the statue of the victim in Don Giovanni.

I’ll give the word or words and you give me the rest in a comment. Ready?

  • Dean Kvetch
  • Coach Eddy
  • Count Trempe d’Aieul, the French visitor
  • Auto da Fe, the Spanish visitor and descendant of the famous Spanish humanitarian
  • President Allwiess

Now it’s your turn. What do these mean? Remember to leave your answer in the comment section below.


3 Life Lessons The Agony of Victory Teaches Us

1.What wins in football and in life? Virtue, persistence, and hard work. (Really?)
2. How many college students does it take to change a light bulb? One to fetch a keg of beer and one to help drink it.
3. The Dean always knows what’s best for us in college. Is that true in life?


5 Lessons You Can Learn from College Football

1. Football and marriage: Is the coach (read spouse) always right? (Better to concede.)
2. Football and politics: Is center always the safest place to be? (In the end maybe so.)
3. Football and society: Outfox the other guy before he outfoxes you.
4. Football and books: In football and in marriage, is the manual the best place to turn to figure out how to handle the situation?
5. Football and life: Sometimes you kick the other guy in the rear, but sometimes you get kicked in the rear. That’s life.


Harry Weil of RWTV Interviews First-Time Author Max Horlick

In a recent interview with Harry Weil of RWTV, Rutgers alumni and first-time author Max Horlick talk about Horlick’s novel, The Agony of Victory. You can view the interview on YouTube.

Dr. Horlick graduated from Rutgers University in 1939 and earned an masters degree in 1940. A World War II veteran, Horlick headed international research programs in a number of federal agencies.


Good Intentions Have Their Rewards, Or Do They?

The President of the University called the Coach on the carpet and said, “Your training methods are inappropriate in a gentleman’s university.” The Coach replied, “That’s the only way to win.”


Appearing in Rutgers Magazine, Max Horlick

In the Spring 2011 issue of the Rutgers Magazine, Max Horlick announces his new book, The Agony of Victory.

“The Agony,” as Max’s alumni friends are calling it, is a fictional account of a very successful Rutgers football season back in the 1930s. Coach J. Wilder Tasker had just been fired. Coach Harvey Harmon was hired and immediately turned the program around, Max says, “We defeated Princton for the first time since 1866.”

The story is based on actual press reports of the time. The background and color are based on primarily on actual events at another university where I taught, including eccentric faculty members, picturesque coaching, and sparkling college life.