Chapter

Language and the Literary Sphere

Francesca Orsini

in The Hindi Public Sphere 1920–1940

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780198062202
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198062202.003.0002
Language and the Literary Sphere

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From the second half of the nineteenth century to 1920, the linguistic economy of north India underwent a dramatic transformation, which was accompanied by significant changes in literary writing in Hindi language. The emergence of new discourses, genres, tastes, and literary figures could be made possible only through new institutional contexts. This chapter examines such changes and provides a historical background to the emergence of a community consciousness around language. Using the concept of ‘literary samskāra’ (acquired taste), it explains the stratification of tastes in the light of the different modes of literary apprenticeship and transmission. Besides, it explores the primary arenas in which Hindi literature came to be produced, transmitted, and consumed — the journals and the education system — as well as its publishing. Furthermore, the chapter discusses poetry-meetings and how they adapted to the changes in the Hindi literary system.

Keywords: Hindi; language; literary samskāra; Hindi literature; poetry-meetings; education; publishing; journals

Chapter.  45202 words.  Illustrated.

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