Excerpt from Selections From P. K. Rosegger's Waldheimat: With Introduction and Explanatory Notes
The objections that might be urged agamst Rosegger's writings, that they are local or provincial, are, in reality, high praise. For, as just stated, the substratum of his art is ... human nature, common to all of us. It is only the set ting, the framework which is to be characterized as local or provincial. And through this the American student catches glimpses of Old World life amounting, veritably, to a revelation. Similarly to Berthold Auerbach in his Schwarzwiilder Dorfgeschiehten or to Fritz Renter, in his stories of Mecklenburg life, our author has struck a chord, responded to by readers everywhere. Just as the painter with brush and pigment reproduces the ideals of his inner most consciousness, so the poet or novelist is at his best when he gives forth the precipitate, so to speak, of his own life experiences. It must be admitted that, in thus circumscribing himself, the artist narrows his field, but he gains a directness and an intensity wholly peculiar and true. Nor does such restriction detract from the general acceptability of his art. For the mind of the reader delights in discovering universality under the guise Of individuality. This is largely the secret of literary excellence. That which distinguishes the writer of Dorfgeschc'ehten from his more ambitious co-laborer in other literary fields is rather the choice of subject, and the purpose to illustrate a. Common human nature in the lowlier walks of life.
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