Patwardhan was born in 1894 in Baroda. He studied in The M.C Heigh School in Baroda. He obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees in 1916 and 1918, respectively, by specializing in the studies of Pharsi (Persian) and English literature. During 1918-1924, he taught Pharsi at Fergusson College in Pune, and after serving as a high school teacher for the next four years, he joined Rajaram College in Kolhapur to teach Pharsi there for the next eleven years (until his untimely death at age 45 in 1939).
In 1926, he published a Pharsi-Marathi dictionary.
During his years at Rajaram College, Patwardhan wrote in Marathi a thesis titled Chhandorachana (छंदोरचना) and received for it a D.Litt. Degree from Mumbai University in 1939, a few months before his death. He was the first person in India to receive a doctorate in the field of Marathi literature.
Patwardhan was among pioneers like Keshavasuta, Govindagraj, and Bhaskar Ramchandra Tambe in Marathi literature who introduced romantic poetry to it and also introduced the themes of social and political reforms in Marathi poetry. They further introduced new forms of poetry writing in Marathi, including sonnets (सुनीते), gazals (गज़ल), and bhāvageete (भावगीते).
Patwardhan published ten collections of his poems. His first publication titled Wiraha-Taranga (विरह-तरंग) (1926) was a romantic Khandakāvya (खंडकाव्य) consisting of 234 shloka (श्लोक). His next publication titled Sudhāraka (सुधारक) (1928) contained his satirical 18-chapter khandakāvya with the theme of social reforms.
The idea of linguistic purity
Patwardhan held the idea that Marathi writers must maintain linguistic “purity” in Marathi writing. He wrote a book titled BhashaShuddhi-Wiwek (भाषाशुद्धि-विवेक) on that topic. He listed in it 1,200 words which were prevalent to different degrees in contemporary Marathi literature and which, he thought, ought not to be used any more in Marathi literature.
(In the above context, his inclusion in his poetry of some unusual words or word combinations like हृद्य मजा, खुर्चीसन्मुख, ज्वानीच्या अरुणोदयीं, and दुरत्यय वाग्यतता stands out, as also his choice of the pen name Madhav Julian with a “foreign” flavour. He might, however, have assumed the unusual pen name for the very sake of its unusualness.)
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