This is not a post about Libya now. This is a post about a book from 1975, not so long after the coup of ’69, when ‘new’ was accurate in some senses but not necessarily positive. Entitled La Libye nouvelle, subtitled rupture et continuité (rupture and continuity | المزق و الاستمرار), it could easily have been just published last year and be talking about you-know-which-recent-events. A rather dramatic turn of history, cue experts publishing books. (Sometimes the lack of new perspectives is painfully obvious: there was a book titled … La nouvelle Libye published in 2004). In between, far, far fewer people are interested in Libya. Their loss. But I’m getting off track: the point here is that a number of scholarly works published in France have been made available free online at the OpenEdition.org website. Hence La Libye nouvelle can be read online for free (if you read French).
La Libye nouvelle: rupture et continuité. Institut de recherches et d’études sur le monde arabe et musulman, Éditions du CNRS. Paris. 1975.
Although some essays are outdated or rather simplistic, a few are still interesting reads. I recommend “La Libye des origines à 1912” by Robert Mantran; “Introduction à la connaissance de la littérature libyenne contemporaine” by Noureddine Sraieb is still one of the very few essays in a Western language addressing Libyan literature; “Chronologie libyenne” by Béatrice de Saenger is a handy timeline of events (obviously till 1975).