The Death Ship: The Story of an American Sailor. B. Traven.

The Death Ship: The Story of an American Sailor.

New York: Knopf, 1934. First American Edition. Hardcover. 372pp. Octavo [21.5 cm] Black cloth. Very good/Very good. Minor discoloring to jacket. Rear hinge going. Item #1827

The Death Ship/Das Totenschiff was originally written in English in 1923 or 1924. Traven translated it into German at the request of Buchergilde Gutenberg editor Ernst Preczang who was impressed by the serialization of Die Baumwollpflucker in Vorwarts. Das Totenschiff was published in 1926. It was the first book to appear under the Traven name and its success established Traven's reputation.

Traven's most brilliant novel. It is a sardonic work about identity and a satire on the faceless bureaucracy. The American sailor, Gales, has no papers; therefore, in the eyes of the authorities, he doesn't exist. In order to escape from Europe he is forced to sign aboard a "Death Ship." Considerably revised and rewritten from the Chatto & Windus edition with 61 additional pages, and is considered by many to be a superior translation. Treverton 32.

Price: $1,500.00

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