Campo de los almendros. El laberinto mágico Vol. VI
Novel , 1968
This colossal project by the German-born writer Max Aub on the Spanish Civil War combines reality with fictitious events.
Laberinto mágico was written in the form of a saga, published between 1943 and 1967, and focuses on the Spanish Civil War and its consequences. Max Aub himself knew at first hand the hardships of the conflict, so much so that after spending time in France and Algeria he went into exile in Mexico where he wrote this magnum opus.
The saga comprises six novels: Campo cerrado (1943), Campo de sangre (1945), Campo abierto (1951), Campo del Moro (1963), Campo francés (1965) and Campo de los almendros (1967), as well as another 25 short stories describing various episodes in the conflict, and combining real and fictitious elements. It is the sixth and last novel in the cycle The Magical Labyrinth. The Civil War is over. Madrid has fallen or is about to fall. The men wander through the fields, confused, without news, hiding, begging for water and food in the villages. Others flee in disarray. Most intend to reach Valencia or Alicante, where it is rumored that there are ships to take them into exile.
Campo de los almendros, written in 1968, “is the history of Alicante; the eve of the famous report that ends by saying: ´the war is over´, and a date: April 1, 1939”, according to the words of Max Aub himself. But it is not only, with its ramblings, dialogues and events, a historical novel. It wants to be a novel, like all of its author's, with its multitude of real and imaginary characters, in all kinds of situations, which tends to establish a faithful picture of perfectly determined days, of a sordid period in our history: the civil war. A mature work, his prose achieves one of the most intense moments in contemporary Spanish literature.
“Not only indispensable reading for anyone who wants to fathom the psychological origins of the Spanish Civil War, it is indisputably the most impressive work of literary art among the host of novels produced by the war.” Gerald Griffiths Brown, author of A Literary History of Spain