Interrogation of the Past and Questioning of the Present in Ibrahim Al-Koni's Novel the Call of the Distant
This study deals with the goals and objectives that made the Libyan novelist Ibrahim al-Koni resort to history in his novel Nidā' Mā Kāna Ba'īdan, specifically during the rule of Ahmad al-Akbar al-Qaramanli, Dai of Tripoli from 1711-1745. The study discusses the aesthetics of the artistic formation in the novel and the set of puzzles, myths, motifs and symbols that the writer employs such as the desert, the obsessions, the call of the distant, and the Book ofEcclesiaste. The study also deals with the issue of the writer's freedom in dealing with the events of history and the importance of adding, moderating, and deleting parts from the events. To achieve its goals, the study conducted a comparison between the historical events as they were mentioned in the book of Charles Féraud' Annales Tripolitaines/ al-Ḥawliyyāt al-Lībiyya, and their representation in the novel. The study points out the diversions and substitutions that the writer deliberately performed on the events in order to create a hybridized world of 'reality and fantasy' in order to interrogate the past, to question the present, and reproduce his vision of the world.
Keywords - Historical novel, puzzle of the desert, Ahmad al-Qaramanli, al-Hawliyyat al-Libiyya, Sifr al-Jami'ah.