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The Making of Modern HindiLiterary Authority in Colonial North India$
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Sujata S. Mody

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199489091

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199489091.001.0001

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Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise

(p.135) 3 Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise
The Making of Modern Hindi

Sujata S. Mody

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 further examines Dwivedi’s visually oriented strategies to establish literary authority amidst resistance, especially from critics who publicly decried his brand of poetry as crude, and from poets who continued to publish in Braj Bhasha. Dwivedi’s response was pragmatic: he attempted to bring sophistication to Khari Boli poetry through a cultivated association with art; and he modelled poetry that adhered to a modified agenda. He authored and commissioned a series of image-poems, poetry inspired by and published alongside paintings by Ravi Varma (1848–1906) as well as other contemporary artists. Dwivedi’s limited use and sanction of Braj Bhasha’s linguistic and literary influence in these image-poems did not match his agenda in cartoons and prose. Such maneuvers defined the very substance of modern Hindi poetry in the early twentieth century and established Khari Boli as the language of modern Hindi literature.

Keywords:   literary authority, critics, Braj Bhasha, Khari Boli poetry, association with art, image-poems, paintings, Ravi Varma, linguistic and literary influence, modern Hindi literature

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