Badges? We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges

Silver Screenings

The best reaction to a ridiculous question; Image: RunningAhead.comThe best reaction to a ridiculous question. Image: RunningAhead.com

B. Traven (18??-1969?) was a popular novelist who never gave interviews. Not even his publishers knew him; they communicated with someone claiming to be his agent via a Mexican postal box.

Traven might have been onto something. The great thing about not generating your own publicity is that others will do it for you – and they’ll create fantastic stories. For example, some say Traven was the illegitimate son of German Emperor Wilhelm II. Others say he was actually the novelist Jack London who had faked his death and moved to Mexico. (According to Wikipedia, Life magazine allegedly offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who could find this elusive fellow.)

Traven wrote several adventure novels, which may or may not have mirrored his own life. His most famous novel, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, was released as a Hollywood film in 1948, starring Humphrey Bogart and Walter…

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