1st Edition

Critical Discourse in Gujarati

Edited By Sitanshu Yashaschandra Copyright 2024
    246 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This volume forms part of the Critical Discourses in South Asia series, which deals with schools, movements, and discursive practices in major South Asian languages. It offers crucial insights into the making of Gujarati literature and its critical tradition across a century / several centuries. The book presents one of a kind historiography of Gujarati literature and of its critical discourse. It brings together English translations of major writings of influential figures dealing with literary criticism and theory, aesthetic and performative traditions, and re-interpretations of primary concepts and categories in Gujarati. It initiates an exploration into Gujarati critical discourse from the heather to neglected pre-colonial centuries and presents key texts in literary and cultural studies, some of which are being made available for the first time into English. These seminal essays explore complex interconnections understand the dynamics of critical discursive situations in Gujarati literature and to carefully construct a mobile post of observation that matches those dynamics. They offer a radical departure from the widespread historiographical practice in Indian writings of disregarding pre-colonial literary critical discourse. The book also offers a new and indigenous periodization of Gujarati literature and its critical discourse, derived from a fresh perception of Gujarati and Indian literary culture.

    Comprehensive and authoritative, this volume offers an overview of the history of critical thought in Gujrati literature in South Asia. It will be essential for scholars and researchers of Gujarati language and literature, literary criticism, literary theory, comparative literature, Indian literature, cultural studies, art and aesthetics, performance studies, history, sociology, regional studies, and South Asian studies. It will also interest the Gujarati-speaking diaspora and those working on the intellectual history of Gujarat and Western India and conservation of the language and their culture.

    INTRODUCTION: Critical Discourse in Gujarati: A Vikalpa Vachana. 

     Sitanshu Yashaschandra.


    CHAPTER 1/ Ka. ( Sections Ka. 1 to Ka.  5.)

    Beginnings -- Real contra Colonial : Gujarati Critical Discourse from 12th to 18th cent. CE.

    Ka 1. Bhalan ( 15th century). Excerpts from his Critical Discourse in verse.

     i.  From Nalakhyan.

    ii From Kadambari.

    iii From Chandi Akhyan.


    Ka 2:  Mandana Bandharo (16th Century). Excerpts from his Critical Discourse in verse.

    From Prabodh Batrisi.


    Ka 3: Akho Sonaro (16th/ 17th Century).  Excerpts from his Critical Discourse in verse, see Introduction.


    Ka 4: Mana-Bhatt Premanand (17th century). Excerpts from his Critical Discourse in verse.

    i:  From Shamalashah-no Moto Vivah. [ Longer Narrative Poem on Marriage of [Narasimha Maheta’s son, Shamalashah].

    ii: From Shamalashah-no Moto Vivah.


    Ka 5: Shamal Bhatt. (18th Century.) Excerpts from his Critical Discourse in verse.

    i: From: Chandra Chandravatini Varata.

    ii: From: Nanadabatrisi.


    CHAPTER 2/ Kha. (Sections Kha. 1 to Kha. 3.)

    Pratham Vivarta / First Variation  (1820 – 1915).

    Para-bodha/Sva-bodha Kal. 

    Period of Alien Cognition / Indigenous Cognition.


    Part I. Sudharak Yug / Times of the Reformers. (1820 -1875).

    Sections Kha 1 to Kha 3.


    Kha 1: Dalpatram Dahtabhai Travadi (Dalapat).

     i: FromDeshi Bhasha Prayojan’ ‘Purpose of the Native Language’.

    ii: From his Preface to Alamkaradarsh.


    Kha 2: Narmadashankar Dave (Narmad).

    From His essay “Kavi ane Kavita.’ The Poet and Poetry.


    Kha 3: Navalram Pandya

    i: From ‘Musings on Poetry’.

    ii: From ‘One Language in Hindustan’ (1871).


    CHAPTER 3/ Ga.

    Pratham Vivarta / First Variation. (1820 -1915).

    Para-bodha/Sva-bodha Kal. – Period of Alien Cognition / Indigenous Cognition.


    Part II.  Pandit Yug/ Era of the Erudite. (1875 -1915).

    Sections Ga 1 to 7.


    Ga 1. Anandashankar Dhruv

    i: Poetry: A (Playful) Part of Ātman.

    ii: Literature and the Nation


    Ga 2: Govardhanram Tripathi.

    Classical Poets of Gujarat.


    Ga 3: Manilal Nabhubhai Dvivedi.



    Ga 4: Ramanbhai Nilkanth.

     Svanubhava Rasik and Sarvanubhava Rasik : The Two Worlds of Poetry


    Ga 5: Narasimharao Divetiya.

    Art and Turth: Reflection on Aesthetics


    Ga 6: Nanalal Kavi.

    Gujarati poetry and Musicality.


    Ga 7:  Balavantaray Thakor (1869 -1952)

    Beyond the Lyric


    CHAPTER 4 / Gha. (Sections Gha 1 to Gha 8)

    Dvitiya Vivarta / Second Variation : 1915 – 1955.

    Hind Svaraj Kal / Period of India Engendering its Freedom.    


    Gha 1:  Mahatma Gandhi.

    i: Speech at Gujarati Sahitya Parishad. Ahmadabad, October 31,1936.

    ii: Foreword by M K Gandhi to K M Munshi’s Gujarat and Its Literature


    Gha 2: Kaniayalal M. Munshi.

    Gujarat: The Land and the People.                                 


    Gha 3: Ramnarayan V. Pathak

    Literature and Life


    Gha 4: ‘Sundaram’ (Tribhuvandas Luhar).                                                         

    Perspectives in Literary Criticiscism                                                 

    Gha 5: Umashankar Joshi.



    Gha 6: Jhaverchand Meghani.

    The Cultural Forces that Constituted Folk Literature of Gujarat.


    Gha 7: Ramprasad Bakshi.

    Spirituality and Literature


    Gha 8: Vishnuprasad Trivedi

    The Devotion to Beauty                                                                      


    CHAPTER 5. Cha. (Sections Cha 1 to Cha 9)

    Trutiya Vivarta / Third Variation: 1955 onwards

    Vyapana Shakti Kal. / Time of Energies for Enlargement.


    Cha 1. Suresh Joshi.

    Our Literary Criticism.                                                              


    Cha 2. Niranjan Bhagat.

    Dharma, Science and Poetry


    Cha 3 Harivallabh Bhayani.

    Stylistics Approaches - Western and Indian


    Cha 4. Shirish Panchal.                                                         

    Crisis in Criticism.


    Cha 5. Chandrakant Topiwala.                                                                      

    The Consumate Indian Rasa Theory. Chnadrakant Topiwala


    Cha 6. Himanshi Shelat.

    Feminism in Gujarati literary Fiction (1975 - 1999)


    Cha 7. Babu Suthar.

    Locating a Regional Language in a Globalization Process.


    Cha 8. Bhagvandas Patel.

    The Direction of My Research.


    Cha 9. Kanti Malsatar.

    Some Views on Dalit Literature


    Editor’s Note on APPENDICE 1, 2 3. / S.Y.

    Appendix 1. A Vision of the Ancient Vallabhinagar for the Present

                          Harivallabh Bhayani

    Appendix 2. Mahamaatya Vastupal and His Literary Circle.

                          Bhogilal Sandesara.

    Appendix 3. Some Chronological Markers in History of Gujarati Literary Culture.


    Sitanshu Yashaschandra is a renowned Gujarati language poet, playwright, translator and academic. He has received Sahitya Akademi Award, Kabir Samman (Madhya Pradesh), Gangadhar Maher Award (Orissa), Kusumagraja Samman (Maharashtra) and was awarded Padma Shri in 2006.