Max Aub: Campo del Moro [The Moor’s Camp]


The latest addition to my website is Max Aub‘s Campo del Moro [The Moor’s Camp]. This novel, the fourth book in Aub’s Magic Labyrinth series on the Spanish Civil War to be published, though the fifth in the series, is set during Fall of Madrid, which will end the Spanish Civil War. It opens on 5 March 1939. We follow the stories of several characters, some real and some fictitious, most of whom have a colourful background or who have had a colourful war. However, the main focus is on the dispute between Prime Minister Juan Negrín who, together with the Communists, wants to carry on fighting till the bitter end, and Colonel Casado and the politician Julián Besteiro, who want to make a deal with Franco. They essentially carry out a coup d’état and Negrín, not wanting anti-fascists fighting anti-fascists, goes. However, the result is that the remaining republicans – socialists, communists and anarchists – spend their time fighting and, indeed, killing one another, while Franco waits for the city to surrender. He will only accept unconditional surrender. For Aub, the actions of Casado and Besteiro were betrayal and they do not come off well in this book. We are left with a sad and nasty end to a sad and nasty war.

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