Will Wyatt’s fascinating and insightul 1978 documentary of his search for the real identity of the writer B. Traven (1882-1969), now known to be the German anarchist Ret Marut, editor of Der Ziegelbrenner – and Otto Fige, born in Poznan, 1882
BORIS VIAN, singer, songwriter, essayist, playwright and jazz aficionado, was a legendary figure in Paris in the post-war years — ‘the Prince of Saint-Germain ‘ — who left an indelible mark on France’s intellectual and artistic life. His avant-garde music, novels and plays continue to inspire a generation of fans more than 50 years after his death. This (PDF – ISSUU) is the introduction to a new translation of three of his plays — The Empire Builders, The Generals’ Tea Party and The Knacker’s ABC — by his friend, comrade, translator and fellow pataphysician, the late Simon Watson Taylor.
Billy Budd is a young man impressed from a merchant ship in 1797 and made foretopman on the British Navy frigate Avenger during the French revolutionary wars with England. In a conversation with the Captain, Edward Fairfax Vere, the ship’s master-at-arms, Jon Claggart, accuses Budd of mutinous conspiracy. Skeptical of the accusations (given Budd’s easy-going and cheerful bearing), Captain Vere invites Claggart to make the accusations in Budd’s presence. Given the opportunity to rebut the accusations, Budd, who suffers from an inability to speak under duress, is unable to do so. Frustrated and angry, Budd strikes Claggart, killing him. Though believing Budd innocent of mutiny and free of any intent to kill Claggart, Vere quickly convenes a drumhead court to try Budd . .
A powerful and moving film about the battle of good versus evil
TO THE HONORABLE MISS S… AND OTHER STORIES by Ret Marut a.k.a. B. Traven With an introduction by Will Wyatt, Producer of the BBC documentary B. Traven: A Mystery Solved (See FILMS) (Translated from the German by Peter Silcock). Originally published in English by Cienfuegos Press, Sanday, Orkney (1981)
In 1916 Ret Marut, the author who later became famous under the nom de plume of B. Traven, published this collection of fifteen stories under the title TO THE HONOURABLE MISS S … Written during the years when he was an itinerant actor and journalist in Germany before and during World War I, most of these stories first appeared when Marut edited the anti-war journal, Der Ziegelbrenner (The Brickburner), in Munich. They foreshadow many of the themes and philosophy that characterise such great works as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Death Ship, The White Rose, The Bridge in the Jungle, and other novels and stories Traven wrote later in Mexico. This collection includes such tales as “The Story of a Nun,” in which a doctor marries a doomed woman whom he first meets as a ghost, and “The Silk Scarf,” a simple story with an acidulous ending. Other stories deal with such subjects as pretension, fashion, greed, exploitation, and the price of success, all themes that Traven further developed in his subsequent work. The title story, “To the Honourable Miss S…”, is a romantic love story told against the backdrop of trench warfare in World War I. The vivid realism of the war scenes is reminiscent of Enrich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front.
|Biography of Rafael Barrett (Torrelavega, Spain, January 7, 1876 – Arcachon, France, December 17, 1910). a Spanish writer, narrator, essayist and journalist, who developed most of his literary production in Paraguay, becoming an important figure of the Paraguayan literature during the twentieth century. He is particularly known for his stories and essays with profound philosophical content that in some way anticipated existentialism. His philosophical and political statements in support of anarchism are also well known.
Three of the greatest South American writers have expressed their deep admiration for Barrett’s work and his influence on them. In Paraguay, Augusto Roa Bastos, in Argentina, Jorge Luís Borges and in Uruguay, José Enrique Rodó.
My Anarchism:Barret defined himself as anarchist from 1908 in his famous pamphlet My Anarchism.: The etymological sense of “absence of government” is enough for me. We have to destroy the spirit of authority and the prestige of the laws. That’s it. That would be the work of the free exam. The fools think that anarchy is disorder and that without government the society will always end in chaos. They don’t conceive other order that the one imposed from the exterior by the terror of the weapons. The anarchism, as I understand it, is reduced to the free political exam. [...] ¿So what we must do? Educate the others and us. Everything is resumed in the free exam. That our children examine our laws and despise them!
Adventures in Bukhara are tales told with irreverent wit and earthy wisdom. Tyranny is its villain; liberty its hero. Like Robin Hood, Khoja Nasreddin is the champion of the poor and downtrodden who cannot champion themselves. There is no danger he will not brave, no disaster he cannot avert, no villain he cannot bring to ridicule or destruction.
These zestful tales are set in ancient Bukhara, then a great centre of Islamic power. Nasreddin, masquerading as a beggar, returns taxes to the oppressed, rescues a lovely maiden from the Emir’s harem, and with ingenuity confounds usurers, hypocrites and all tyrants. He outwits his enemies even at his own scheduled execution.
The Nasreddin stories are known throughout the Middle East and have touched cultures around the world. Superficially, most of the Nasreddin stories may be told as jokes or humorous anecdotes. They are told and retold endlessly in the teahouses and caravanserais of Asia and can be heard in homes and on the radio. But it is inherent in a Nasreddin story that it may be understood at many levels. There is the joke, followed by a moral – and usually the little extra which brings the consciousness of the potential mystic a little further on the way to realization.
The anecdotes attributed to him reveal a satirical personality with a biting tongue that he was not afraid to use even against the most tyrannical rulers of his time. He is the symbol of Middle-Eastern satirical comedy and the rebellious feelings of people against the dynasties that once ruled this part of the world.
JOHN BARKER reads from his prison memoir Bending the Bars at Brighton’s Cowley Club in 2010 (see Films page above). Born in Kilburn, London, in 1948, John was arrested in August 1971 in the so-called “Angry Brigade” case and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. It was the longest trial in English legal history. Released in 1978, John wrote his memoir of those seven years in the English penal system. His novel, Futures, has been published in French by Grasset, and in German by Dumont but has so far not appeared in English.
The World That Never Was: A True Story of Dreamers, Schemers, Anarchists and Secret Agents
by Alex Butterworth
482pp, Bodley Head, £25.00
(The Guardian, 27/3/2010 — http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/mar/27/world-never-was-alex-butterworth) with an additional note ‘On Infiltration…’
Click here for the PDF