This volume looks at the rīti poet Dev’s works and career through the study of the socio-historical context of the first half of the 18th century and the analysis of the Rasavilāsa, a text dedicated to the description of the feminine literary figure of the nāyikā. The poet’s biography is examined with a new perspective and several patrons who offered their support are identified, giving a better view of Dev’s career. His status of itinerant poet is read in conjunction with the historical context and as an opportunity to make his works circulate in various circles. This compels the poet to write many texts and to recycle part of his repertoire through various processes which are examined. Assimilating the poet with a craftsman – "artisan-poète" – underlines this practical aspect to be considered for itinerant poets. At the same time and through the translation and the study of a good number of poems from the Rasavilāsa translated for the first time, the book also shows the evolution of the nāyikābheda genre and the important influence exerted by other literary traditions such as Sanskrit kāmaśāstras and Indo-Persian shāhrāshob.
Nadia Cattoni, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.