Re: RARA-AVIS: Who was B. Traven?

From: jumblejim (
Date: 02 Apr 2003

> The identity of B. Traven was a mystery in the literary world for many
> Commonly, he was said to have been born in in Chicago and his full name
> Bruno Traven. His early novels were first published in Germany, in German
> but the lead characters were often American and the setting Mexico. Once
> Knopf began to publish him in the U.S., questions and speculation
> and this reached a height when the wonderful Humphrey Bogart starring
> of THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE was produced in 1948.

I remember doing some research in the Warner Bros. files a number of years ago and running across an original typed letter from Traven to John Huston, the director of TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, and signed in Traven's hand. Having heard many of the legends, I found it rather thrilling to hold in my hand a paper typed and signed by the legend himself. Rumor has it that Traven showed up on the SIERRA MADRE set, "disguised" as an emissary from Traven. As I recall, Huston was pretty sure it was Traven himself.

Jim Beaver

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