Brand, Max

Tagged: Author

Best-known pseudonym of US poet and author Frederick Faust (1892-1944), who from before 1920 used many names and produced innumerable tales and filmscripts in many genres, including the Western classic Destry Rides Again (1930); it was first filmed in 1932, and became famous through the 1939 version, with James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich. The psychic contortions that attend the discovery of a Missing Link in Africa (see Apes as Human) impart a lurid glow to "That Receding Brow" (15 February 1919 All-Story Weekly), which may be his first tale of genre interest, though he had already been publishing fiction, starting with "Convalescence" (March 1917 All-Story Weekly). He began publishing books in volume form with The Untamed (7 December 1918-11 January 1919 All-Story Weekly; 1919), the first volume of the Dan Barry sequence of Westerns, whose protagonist, a "Pan of the desert" (see Gods and Demons) and Werewolf, enjoys a strangely intimate rapport with wild animals; the series continued with The Night Horseman (1920), The Seventh Man (1921) and Dan Barry's Daughter (1923). Though many of his exceedingly numerous Westerns were nonfantastic, an aura of theatrical otherness marked them from the first; and effectively created the genre as an almost abstract arena for violent paradigmatic dramas.

The Garden of Eden (1922) is a Lost-World story, as are several tales written as by Joseph Montague, including The Crater of Kala: An Adventure Story (1925), which set on an Island in the South Pacific where, in pre-Mayan ruins, degenerate natives (see Devolution) worship a giant octopus. The Smoking Land (29 May-3 July 1937 Argosy as by George Challis; 1980) stereotypically discloses another lost world, in the Arctic, complete with futuristic aircraft and rumbustious action. The El Head Legends sequence, beginning with Head Out West (1937) with Walter B Gibson writing together as Grant Faust, translates into Western format a nineteenth-century legend about an indigenous figure with demonic powers, perhaps Native American; some of the titles, like The Head and the Yellow Peril (1938) (see Yellow Peril), are set in California. Throughout Brand/Faust's work, illuminating the most pulp-like plots, can be discerned the voice of a slyly civilized writer; one extended narrative poem, Dionysus in Hades (1931 chap) as by Frederick Faust, contains elements of the fantastic.

While serving as a combat correspondent in World War Two, Faust died during the Italian campaign. [JC]

Frederick Schiller Faust

born Seattle, Washington: 29 May 1892

died Santa Maria Infante, Italy (killed in action): 12 May 1944

works

as by Max Brand

series

Dan Barry

individual titles

as by Frederick Faust

  • Dionysus in Hades (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1931) as Frederick Faust [poem: chap: hb/]

as by Joseph Montague

as by Grant Faust

All Brand's titles here are collaborations with Walter B Gibson; two further titles by Norvell W Page are included for convenience.

El Head Legends

about the author

links

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