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Reproduction of a poster by L. Mendoza for the film Macario, 1960, written by B. Traven.

B. Traven

Museo de Arte Moderno Mexico

Reproduction of a poster by L. Mendoza for the film Macario, 1960, written by B. Traven.

More than forty years before Roland Barthes famously announced the death of the author, the writer who came to be known as B. Traven stated, “The creative person should have no other biography than his works.” In London he embarked on a ship as Ret Marut, quietly making his way to Mexico, which he entered in 1924 as Traven Torsvan. That same year, he announced his own passing in a diary entry: “The Bavarian of Munich is dead.” After that, Traven continued to change cities, identities, and nationalities as he navigated between literature, anthropology, photography, and scriptwriting.

This exhibition, curated by Natalia de la Rosa, related a story divided into three chronological episodes, limning, respectively, Ret Marut’s anarchist beginnings as editor of the magazine The Brick Maker (1917–21) and his early writings as B. Traven after disembarking in Mexico; Torsvan’s numerous

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