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Bruno Traven Essay

2745 words - 11 pages

Diego Bustos

Mrs. Schmitt

English 120

21 May 2012

Traven’s Literature:

Subliminal or Straight Criticism?

In 1993, Bruno Traven’s Canasta de Cuentos Mexicanos was published. Although numerous people have read his work, many critics claim that Traven’s literature is nothing more than subliminal criticism. In an online “working paper,” writer Mr. Tapio Helen from the University of Helsinki, Finland, states that Traven’s ideology “is socialism and anarchism” (par 5) and Helen writes: “capitalism and bureaucracy make decent life impossible for the ordinary man.” Since Traven’s work of literature is full of subliminal criticism about capitalism functioning over subordinate ...view middle of the document...

In 1919, Murat became a censor for Munchen-Augsburger Abendzeitung, a German newspaper, and was involved in propaganda for the soviet government. Finally, Bruno Traven moved to America, under the name of Hal Croves where he lived until his death in Mexico in 1969.

Before Traven emerged, writers had begun their criticism about capitalism. In 1844, Friedrich Engels, in his “Identity Revisited,” became well known in multiple countries because of his critical essays in political economy. Also, Engels condemns the effects of private property on the working class and concludes that private property must be abolished. Steven Vincent, from North Carolina State University, wrote a biography of Pierre- Joseph Proudhon in the encycpledia of the 1848 revolutions that states that “Proudhon began working [as] a well-known French Social theorist during the 1840’s.” Moreover, “Proudhon in his numerous articles criticized the policies of the government and continued to propose the reform of credit and exchange.” However, Traven finds ways to be original and concise. Traven also manages to be assertive with political messages within his literature every time he creates a new story. Indeed, it is Traven’s satirical craftiness that makes his literature original and attractive to read.

Traven’s literature first appeared in the 1930s and gained rapid popularity in Germany, especially amongst workers. Traven wrote six Jungle novels, a Hexalogy depicting the capitalistic-bureaucratic exploitation system under which the Indians of Southern Mexico lived and the violent rebellion of the Indians. The personality of B. Traven is a mystery that has never been disclosed. Adventurer? Son of immigrants born in America? Politically exiled from Nazi Germany? What is known for sure is that he settled and lived until his death in Mexico, a country where all his novels were set and which he knew thoroughly, as is evident in his work. Traven’s stories describe things of life, life on the opposite side of society organized and developed. This was a life full of injustice, dominated by primal feelings that lead them to a natural rebelliousness barely controlled. His works consist of simple prose and direct humor and are the product of his unique vision. Traven was a narrator who could understand and interpret as no one could see Mexican reality; he describes, in a series of stories, Indian life highlighting his wit and his insight. The works of Bruno Traven have gone around the world from the day of his death because he was not interested in fame or that the stories he wrote were published. Traven was a writer who was hidden from publicity and fame, for this reason today there exists only unclear data about Traven’s origin. His works have been published in more than forty different languages and read for decades around the world. A web site called “Library Thing” shows the popularity of Traven’s book, The Death Ship, and is telling that the popularity of Traven’s...

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