Excerpt from Aus Deutschen Do¨rfern
These men democratized the literature of Germany. But they did more; they aroused new interests and opened new fields of research for the sociologist and the historian. Soon a new interest in village and peasant manifested itself everywhere... . There arose in each province men of science and men of imagination who investigated the customs, superstitions, legends, and his tory of their native villages, until the literature thus created has grown to such dimensions that no single mind could possibly assimilate it all. These men have discovered the very sources of the doings and sayings of the peasantry, they have traced the peasants' peculiar ceremonies in different seasons and on different holi days, they have traced even the songs of the children in the village streets back to pagan or early Christian sources, so that to-day the farmer plowing in the valley is linked to the past just as much as the baron above in his ancestral castle.
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