The poetry of the “Chhayavad” group and the later fiction of Premchand together represent the first, and thus far the finest, flowering of the new literary Hindi, based on Khaṟī bolī, that became accepted as standard during the last half of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth. Before that time the phase of Hindi known as Braj, spoken chiefly around Mathura, had been preferred to khaṟī bolī, the Hindi of the Delhi-Meerut region. The credit for the triumph of khaṟī bolī is usually attributed to Pandit Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi, who devoted himself energetically to the reform and propagation of the language, particularly from 1903 to 1920, when he was editor of the influential journal Saraswatī. But although he contributed greatly to the improvement of Hindi style and diction and to the development of its literary potential, it must also be noted that the so-called “Dwivedi-yug” saw the creation of no masterpieces in the new idiom. None of the poets published in Saraswatī during Dwivedi's editorship commands much more than historical interest now, with the exception of Maithili Sharan Gupta, whose great work, in any case, was not to appear until the thirties. It was the Chhayavadins who first fulfilled the promise of the Bharatendu and Dwivedi periods (ca. 1870–1920) with the publication of such volumes as Nirala's Anāmikā (first version, 1922) and Parimal (1930), Prasad's revised Jharnā (1927), Pant's Pallav (1928), and Mahadevi Verma's Nihār (1930).

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