The Bridge in the Jungle
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
267pp Small octavo (7 3/4" x 5 1/4") bound in original publisher's grey cloth with blue lettering to spine in original jacket.. In the B Traven collected works series. First British edition.
Like American authors Thomas Pynchon and J. D. Salinger, the reclusive Traven delighted in his personal anonymity and refused to grant interviews. Little is known about him; it is not even clear whether he was a native German or merely wrote in the language. It is clear from the descriptions in his novels that he lived and travelled extensively in Europe, the United States and Mexico.On the basis of their writing styles, it has been suggested that Traven was a pseudonym for the German anarchist Ret Marut, who published an underground magazine in the last years of the Weimar Republic. Another identity for Traven may have been "Traven's agent", the seemingly English Hal Croves who worked with director John Huston while he was shooting The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. In interviews about the movie, Humphrey Bogart's wife, Lauren Bacall, reported Huston had told her during filming that Croves was Traven, but Huston's wife at the time, Evelyn Keyes, later said Huston was skeptical of Croves. A dispute over a reduction in Croves' wages for his work on the film may have clouded the issue.Traven's widow, Rosa Elena Lujï¿½n, supported speculations about both pseudonyms in an interview published in 1990 in The New York Times. The Times reporter notes that the irrelevance of formal identity is a central theme of The Death Ship. Traven's widow said that Traven had something like ten identities and "loved to tangle things up." The story notes that the identity of "Ret Marut" can be traced back to 1907, and that neither Traven's widow nor anyone else really knows who he was before that.Most evidence points to Traven as German, but wild conjectures have been made as to his parentage. Some have suggested he might be the illegitimate son of Kaiser Wilhelm II, or Otto Feige, son of a German pottery worker from Schwiebus, Prussia.  The Encyclopï¿½dia Britannica states that he may have been born Berick Traven Torsvan in Chicago and that he grew up in Germany before settling in Mexico. The Penguin Encyclopedia, on the other hand, holds that he was born Albert Otto Max Frege in either Chicago or Poland.A biographical graphic novel on the life of Arthur Cravan has been published by Dark Horse Comics. Written by the publisher, Mike Richardson, and illustrated by Rick Geary, "Cravan" puts forth the idea that Cravan and Traven might be one and the same. Arthur Cravan was a Dadaist, a pugilist, and an all around larger-than-life personality who disappeared somewhere in Mexico around 1920. Cravan, like Traven, employed dozens of pseudonyms out of necessity or preference.Wikipedia
Jacket price clipped, spine ends and corners lightly chipped and rubbed, else very good in a like jacket.
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