The Poetics of Devotion
The Gujarati Lyrics of Dayaram
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This book introduces a major poet scarcely known to scholars outside Gujarat in India: Kavi Dayarambhai (1777-1852), one of the greatest writers in the Gujarati language. His death brought to an end not only the age of the great bhakta (devotional) poets, but also that of Gujarati medieval literature as a whole. Drawing on Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of literature, Rachel Dwyer analyses the poet's place in the history of Indian literature, and his role in the intellectual changes that occurred in western India during the nineteenth century. She assesses the form and language of his lyrics, and the critical reception afforded his work at the time, as part of the creation of a canon of medieval poetry. The book provides a selection of Dayaram's work in Roman transliteration, accompanied by literal translations into English.
'A remarkable translating job.' - Bulletin of SOAS
'A major contribution to the field providing as it does wholly new material in translation as well as a comprehensive overview of the history of the reception of this important Gujarati poet.' - Contemporary South Asia