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Jiménez, Enrique (2021): Middle Babylonian Literary Texts from the Frau Professor Hilprecht Collection, Jena. In: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies-University of London, Vol. 84, No. 1, PII S0041977X21000264: pp. 141-143

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Scholars have rightly questioned the periodization of early modern Hindi literature (fourteenth to mid-nineteenth century) into two major thematic and temporal categories, often described as binaries: an early bhaktikal (era of devotion), and the later ritikal (era of mannerism). It is now common to understand bhakti and riti as complementary modes of poetic expression rather than oppositional styles that poets had to identify with entirely. This paper uses the perspective of poet-saints (sants) to argue that, although the sants share many features with the riti poets in terms of genres and register, they diverge fundamentally from them on the topic of the proper motives of composing verse. The criticism that the sants register with selected riti themes - conflicts which would later figure in the writings of Hindi literary historians in the nationalist era - can be seen as anticipating the modern bhakti versus riti distinction.

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