Talk:B. Traven

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Ignoring his Wife is pretty dumb[edit]

this article cites the story where his wife is pretty specific about who he was shouldn't she be given a bit more credibility than the article suggests with all the reference to 'speculation' still going on about his identity —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:10, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually, his wife admits she doesn't know his birth name. In so far as she is specific, i.e. the Marut/Croves identity, the article is supportive. --John Price (talk) 22:10, 19 April 2009 (UTC)


Please only include sourced information about his parentage. Speculation is fine but it has to be somebody else's speculation. James James 10:40, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I notice that more has been added. I have tagged the two unsourced items. If no source is provided, I will remove them. Dpbsmith (talk) 13:45, 17 January 2006 (UTC) Thanks, Dpbsmith (talk) 15:19, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Ret Maruts newspaper[edit]

According to the external links "Der Ziegelbrenner", Marut's anti-militarist newspaper was published between 1917 & 1921 or possibly 1922, which would not be "last years of the Weimar Republic." but late Wilhelmine-very early Weimar period. -—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).


The article as it stands gives almost no sense of B. Traven's radical social/political views. I'm probably not going to work on this one, but someone really should. - Jmabel | Talk 04:48, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

B. Traven. A Mystery Solved[edit]

Someone should watch this fascinating documentary (external links section). It pretty much proves who he was and where he was from. -- 20:55, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Why do you think it does? It just offers one of many theories, namely the Otto Feige theory (and not even the freshest theory, given that it was aired in 1979), but there is no proof. PDD 22:01, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
even guthke who says it doesnt prove feige, does say that wyatt rather proved marut-traven was german, not american. wyatt uncovered the english imprisonment. feige is the strongest evidence for his origins. it may not be proven, but calling it spam is obvious nonsense. guthke says wyatt did not prove marut was feige because marut was in Saigon in 1900. he knows that because Marut told the publisher so 15 years later, and " we have no reason to suspect that he was bluffing." (p. 97 english edition). great argument. i will go with wyatt. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:42, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Having just watched the documentary on YouTube, the Feige case looks proved, for two reasons. The information Robinson and Wyatt found in Schwiebus in Poland tallied with the information Marut gave in London, and Feige's two then-surviving siblings said the photos Robinson had were of their brother Otto Feige. And far from it being unlikely that the story about Saigon must be true, on the contrary, the man was constantly making stuff up to hide his identity. It seems the one time he told the truth once grown up was to the police in London. (talk) 20:39, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I agree. However, the theory is not popular with Traven scholars (eg, this site doesn't even mention Feige The article needs to reflect the current state of scholarly opinion. --John Price (talk) 09:47, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
The domain is registered to Maria Eugenia Montes de Oca Lujan, Mexico. [1] (talk) 22:11, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
I've seen the documentary on german tv in the 70s and have read Wyatt's fascinating book in the 80s. Shouldn't it be possible to collect the DNA from Traven (e. g. from letters and envelops) and compare it to samples taken from his late siblings in Niedersachsen? Is there no publishing house, no tv or radio station willing to take up such a venture anymore? (talk) 22:11, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

"America's greatest writer"[edit]

Ed Abbey cites B. Traven as "America's greatest writer" in a 29 August 1977 letter (David Petersen, ed. "Postcards from Ed" (Minneapolis: Milkweed, 2006), p. 76). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:20, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Film version[edit]

Apart from Sierra Madre, shouldn't there be mention of other film versions of his works ? -- Beardo (talk) 04:33, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Identity consensus?[edit]

As to Travern's true identity, is there a person scholars generally agree on? --Ragemanchoo (talk) 11:22, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I find it hard to believe that anyone who has read the article would ask that question.--John Price (talk) 18:52, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

its hard to find a biographer (stone, raskin, guthke, baumann, wyatt, zogbaum) who does not believe that ret marut is b. traven is hal croves. that mystery is pretty much gone. only those who cannot bear to see it end still repeat traven's claim he was born in chicago, or san francisco, or wisconsin. possibly all but guthke and baumann believe feige is marut. both baumann and guthke say the evidence is overwhelming that senora lujan possesses that traven is croves, and also practically indisputable that marut is traven.

i think this article is more incredulous about the mystery than the biographers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:18, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

The article is supportive of the Marut/Croves/Torsvan identification. However, these are just alternative pseudonyms - that is to say none of these identities provides a full biography, with birth name, date and place, parents, family background, etc. That is why the identity question is not solved and why both the Chicago and the Otto Feige story are still in play. --John Price (talk) 14:02, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Translator of The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre[edit]

I have a Penguin Books 1956 edition in front of me, it says on the title page "Translated From The German By Basil Creighton". Is there any mystery over who he is? (The book is quite a page turner - it reveals a novel way of life reminiscant of Orwell's Down And Out In London And Paris). (talk) 20:46, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

New article[edit]

A new article about B. Traven. This is a translation of my own article which I wrote for the Polish Wikipedia. I'm sure the article is not perfect - English is not my mother tongue, so I would be grateful for any corrections. Andrzej Matras (talk) 22:01, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

the page is much improved from the last time i was here, if that is your doing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:49, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Gerd Heidemann is a valueless source.[edit]

Recommend deletion of Heidemann reference. He was imprisoned for fraud in the phony Hitler Diaries case. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:16, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

I share your criticism of Heidemann, even if your reasoning is a bit off. Recknagel had some tasty things to say about this star-reporter - if you/anybody reads German, this criticism has been published by Karin Kramer in Berlin. Still, he played a role in the Traven saga.--Radh (talk) 08:50, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

File:B. Traven 2 crop.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Photos of Traven?[edit]

I don't know what photos happen to appear in the biographies which try to identify our mysterious author.
But my 1997 paperback of Canasta de cuentos mexicanos, first published in Mexico in 1956, has a photo of the author on the back cover.
It is pith helmet man.
It's a closeup. No helmet. He's enjoying a drag on a cigarette, and wearing a suit jacket.
B. Traven, narrador que pudo entender e interpretar como nadie la realidad mexicana ...
High praise, indeed. No text indicates that the photo might be speculative, and not definitive.
Varlaam (talk) 15:11, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

"Dream," or "The Dream"?[edit]

Yes, as pointed out in the article, it is true that "Marut" is an anagram of Traum, the German word for "dream".
But did his biographers not elaborate further?
"The dream" in German is der Traum.
Der Traum, anagramatically, becomes "Red Marut". Right?
The letter /d/ represents a voiced consonant. In German pronunciation, final /d/ is pronounced as its voiceless equivalent, which is /t/.
(For example, in German, Tod (death) is pronounced the same as tot (dead).)
So, "Red Marut" is pronounced "Ret Marut".
Ret Marut is simply an anagram of "The Dream".
Varlaam (talk) 15:25, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Frans Blom[edit]

Someone named Peter Wood has a manuscript article here that puts for his theory that Frans Blom was B. Traven. It is unpublished however... but is there any published work on this theory that would merit inclusion in the article? Wood finds many parallels between likely life background of Traven and with Blom; very close parallels in specific passages in Traven books and books published by Blom (as an archeologist); doubt that Traven is German, but links to Denmark; doubts about Crowes/Marut; coincidence betweek Blom's finances and the making of the Sierra Madre movie, etc.

ReedHedges (talk) 16:23, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Sounds rather fishy to me.--Kmhkmh (talk) 00:14, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

the Blom theory just needs a smoking gun. Blom was well placed to provide the kind of material Traven used. however, there is zero hard evidence for it, other than mildly circumstantial. so by the rules, it cannot be used. the Blom theory has been in print before, i think Guthke maybe has a sentence, maybe Raskin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:22, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Flawed link[edit]

This link in the External link section doesn't seem to work:

Here's a link to one version of Helen's article: (talk) 23:26, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Follow the Money[edit]

Apparently, no historian/researcher has yet identified and confirmed the bank accounts, especially in Mexico. That would solve it. How did the MONEY get from the German publisher to Mexico and how was the currency exchanged? That would be a positive i.d. Same with Hollywood. All payments should be tracked by the bank records. It was undoubtedly the person who met Huston and appeared on set, as he was "watching his money." Huston mentions a photo in which "Croves" turned his head away (but does not include that photo in Huston's own book). WHERE is that photo? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Starhistory22 (talkcontribs) 00:06, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Ret Marut theory[edit]

This web page says: "Marut is released on February 15 [1924] without a deportation order and leaves for Mexico, where he arrives on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in the summer." and in 1925, "His novel Die Baumwollpflücker (The Cotton Pickers) is published in Vorwärts for the first time in 22 installments from June 21 to July 16." - I guess, The web site tries to support "Ret Marut theory".

Is it not possible for one to write a book (The Cotton Pickers) within a year? I read the book which portrays vivid and detailed lives of Mexican cotton workers, and I do not think, it is possible. ( (talk) 11:19, 11 April 2015 (UTC))