Handbook of Twentieth-Century Literatures of India

By Nalini Natarajan | Go to book overview

4 Twentieth-Century Gujarati Literature

SARALA JAG MOHAN


INTRODUCTION

Gujarati is one of the major languages of India, spoken by about 41.3 million people of Gujarat in western India. Originating in the sixth century, it passed through various stages of development, acquiring literary expression by the twelfth century. Since then, literary creation in Gujarati has been an ongoing process.

Gujarati literature has been traditionally divided into (1) an ancient phase up to 1450, (2) a middle phase up to 1800, and (3) the modern phase from 1800 onward. It is customary to trace the roots of modern Gujarati literature to the middle phase.


Middle Phase

The renowned saint-poets Narasingh Mehta and Meerabai, a princess turned poet (fifteenth and sixteenth centuries), were the powerful forces behind the Bhakti movement. Both sang of their love for the god Krishna, but Narasingh Mehta also wrote poetry on the philosophy of the Upanishads. Meerabai, who also wrote in Rajasthani and Braj Bhasha, was lyrical and emotional. Her songs reflected enlightened thinking, though not necessarily profound philosophy. Both used familiar, colloquial language. Narasingh's all-embracing humanism is relevant even today. His famous composition "Vaishnava Jana to tene kahiye" (One Who Feels the Pain of Others Is a True Vaishnav), full of warm compassion, was adopted by Gandhiji and routinely sung during his prayers. Narasingh Mehta has been rightly called the Adi Kavi (the First Poet) of Gujarat. Similarly, Meerabai's devotional songs have remained alive over the centuries. She is ranked with Narasingh as a major poet and is the first woman poet of Gujarat.

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Handbook of Twentieth-Century Literatures of India
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction: Regional Literatures of India-Paradigms and Contexts 1
  • WORKS CITED 18
  • 1- Twentieth-Century Assamese Literature 21
  • Introduction 21
  • WORKS CITED 42
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 42
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 44
  • 2- Twentieth-Century Bengali Literature 45
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 81
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 83
  • 3- Twentieth-Century Indian Literature in English 84
  • INTRODUCTION: THE EVOLUTION OF INDIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH 84
  • Notes 95
  • WORKS CITED 96
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 96
  • 4- Twentieth-Century Gujarati Literature 100
  • Conclusion 127
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 128
  • 5- Twentieth-Century Hindi Literature 134
  • Introduction 134
  • Conclusion 152
  • Notes 153
  • Notes 154
  • Notes 155
  • References 157
  • 6- Twentieth-Century Kannada Literature 160
  • Introduction 160
  • WORKS CITED 176
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 176
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 178
  • 7- Twentieth-Century Malayalam Literature 180
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 203
  • 8- Twentieth-Century Marathi Literature 207
  • Introduction 207
  • Notes 238
  • WORKS CITED 239
  • WORKS CITED 241
  • 9- Twentieth-century Panjabi Literature 249
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 286
  • 10- Twentieth-Century Tamil Literature 289
  • WORKS CITED 301
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 301
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 305
  • 11- Twentieth-Century Telugu Literature 306
  • INTRODUCTION: HISTORY AND CONTEXT 306
  • Conclusion 326
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGPAPHY 326
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGPAPHY 328
  • 12- Twentieth-Century Urdu Literature 329
  • WORKS CITED 358
  • 13- Dalit Literature in Marathi 363
  • Introduction 363
  • Notes 377
  • WORKS CITED 377
  • WORKS CITED 378
  • 14- Parsi Literature in English 382
  • INTRODUCTION: HISTORY AND CONTEXT 382
  • Conclusion 395
  • WORKS CITED 395
  • SELECTED PRIMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 396
  • References 397
  • 15- Sanskrit Poetics 398
  • WORKS CITED 406
  • WORKS CITED 407
  • 16- Perspectives on Bengali Film and Literature 410
  • Introduction 410
  • WORKS CITED 421
  • Selected General Critical Bibliography 423
  • Index 425
  • About the Contributors 439
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