Milestones in Gujarati Literature by Krishnalal Jhaveri is an exhaustive study of the origin and growth of Gujarati literature. It was not until European scholars made an attempt to write the history of Sanskrit literature, the treasures of vernacular literature received scant attention. This book written in 1914 and revised in 1938 covers five and a half centuries of Gujarati literature and ends in the period when the Gujarati writers were drawn to Western literary style. Gujarati literature of this period is a pale copy of Sanskrit literature. Though Mohammedans ruled in Gujarat, Arabic and Persian influence is rare. There is also no evidence of prose and they were following the examples set by the Sanskrit masters who even wrote their legal documents, maths handbooks, etc., in verse. The volume also covers the indigenous literature of Kathiawad and the folk literature of Gujarat.
Krishnalal Mohanlal Jhaveri (1868-1957) was a profound scholar of Gujarati and Persian, writer, literary historian, translator, and a judge. Belonging to a family of educators he was a founding member of Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, and Vice-Chancellor of Shreemati Nathibhai Damodar Thackersey Women's University (SNDT) in Mumbai, the first women's university in India as well as South-East Asia.
Since 1914 when the first edition of this book was published a great deal of research work has been done. This has . thrown new light on many questions relating to the Literature of Gujarat. Accor-dingly I have revised the text in many places and made additions to bring it up to date.
In this I have been greatly helped by my friend Mr. Ambalal B. Jai* B. A., whose study of old Gujarati Literature is extensive and profound. Mr. Nat-varli.1 I. Desai, B. A., has also greatly helped me in this connection.
I cannot sufficiently thank Rev. W. Graham Mulligan, M. A., of the Irish Presbyterian Mission, Ahmedabad, for his help in preparing the manuscript for the Press. He has taken great interest in my work, and, in the light of his own close study of Gujarati and English Literature, has been able to make valuable suggestions which I have adopted.
It was not until European scholars made the attempt that the story of Sanskrit literature was written. Weber, Max Muller, Macdonell and others have explored the treasures of Sanskrit literature, but the vernacular literatures have not attracted such attention. Indian scholars have told the story of Bengali literature, but hitherto Gujarati literature has received little attention, certainly in English there is only the most meagre information available. Every European anxious to understand the people among whom he lives and works, wants to know the nature of their popular literature, and I believe that the present work will be of material aid to such persons. It will also find many readers among educated Gujaratis who till now have not had the advantage of such a history. It covers five and a half centuries, and is brought down to the period when Gujarati writers were about to draw upon the stores of Wes-tern learning and thought, first made available early last century. In reading this history one sees that Gujarati literature is a pale reprint of Sanskrit literature, though only a portion of that great store-house of learning has been used. It is mainly the great epics and the Purans that have been resorted to. Some forms of literature well represented in Sanskrit, which one would have expected to have been popular, have been ignored, the drama for example.
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