El Blocao, one of the most distinguished examples of avant-garde, anti-colonialist prose produced in Spain, is a collection of seven short stories parodying the highly popular serial fiction on the country's colonial wars in Morocco. Diaz-Fernandez appropriates the populist discourse articulated in the Moroccan War pulp fiction, subverting it in order to denounce the political and economic interests that inform the colonial enterprise, while effectively adopting the rhetorical innovations introduced by the European avant-garde during the 1920s.
The Blockhouse achieved great success from the date of its publication in 1928; it was translated into various languages, and rapidly sold out every one of its subsequent editions. In a Spanish literary context dominated by the dehumanization of art, expounded by Ortega y Gasset, Jose Diaz-Fernandez knew how to combine in his novel, the synthetic, imagist style of the artistic vanguard with the emotion and social commitment of the political vanguard. The novel is based on the life experiences of the author who brings a post-colonial vision to the narrative, thereby breaking away from the conventional anti-war sentiments of the pacifist novel. Its unity is fragmented into a collection of seven stories which create a unity of atmosphere; that of a harsh and tragic, living and asphyxiating world. The Blockhouse has been acclaimed as an innovative novelistic jewel, with a deep, human and socio-political content.
Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo is assistant professor of Spanish at Oakland University. His research interests include the Hispanophone literature of the Maghreb, the historical novel on the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco, and the connections between Colonial Morocco and the so called Edad de Plata of Spanish literature.
Paul Southern is a literary translator and author based in the UK with major research interests in the military history of both Spain and Portugal’s former African colonies is his major area of interest. He is the author of number of influential translations and books in this area.
210 x 148 mm
August 31, 2015
Aris & Phillips Hispanic Classics