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Title: The Gujarati lyrics of Kavi Dayarambhai
Author: Dwyer, Rachel Madeline Jackson
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1995
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Kavi Dayarambhai or Dayaram (1777-1852), considered to be one of the three greatest poets of Gujarati, brought to an end not only the age of the great bhakta-poets, but also the age of Gujarati medieval literature. After Dayaram, a new age of Gujarati literature and language began, influenced by Western education and thinking. The three chapters of Part I of the thesis look at the ways of approaching North Indian devotional literature which have informed all subsequent readings of Dayaram in the hundred and fifty years since his death. Chapter 1 is concerned with the treatment by Indologists of the Krsnaite literature in Braj Bhasa, which forms a significant part of Dayaram's literary antecedents. Chapter 2 then considers studies of Dayaram by Gujarati scholars which tend to focus on him as a devotee of Krsna and a member of the Pustimarga. It also looks at literary criticism of his writings in the context of the Gujarati literary world. Chapter 3 discusses Dayaram's lyrics from an Indological perspective, concentrating on form and language. Part II puts forward a new approach to a study of Dayaram's lyrics. Chapter 4 argues that these texts deserve treatment as literary texts in their own right and suggests a reading informed by the thought of Mikhail Bakhtin (1895- 1975). Chapter 5 discusses Dayaram's lyrics in the light of Bakhtin's concept of the camivalesque, Chapter 6 looks at the functions of chronotopic features in the lyrics. Part III is a selection of Dayaram's lyrics. The Gujarati texts are given in Roman transliteration, followed by literal translations into English. A full bibliography of primary and secondary sources consulted is included. The thesis introduces a poet scarcely known to western scholars and makes a selection of his work available to those who do not know Gujarati. It examines a number of approaches which have conventionally been brought to bear on literature of this kind. It finds much which is valuable in them but highlights some of their limitations for a study of this poet; a new critical approach from literary theory, using the ideas of Bakhtin (in particular those of the carnivalesque and the chronotope) allows the thesis to re-examine the position of Dayaram in the history of Gujarati literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Gujarati medieval literature