The endless stream of detailed studies filing past the eye, unread and undesired, sometimes gives one the longing to hold a diatribe on the limits of what is worth knowing. But it is only one's own feeling of not being able to master the whole world of history that inspires such annoyance. The frontiers are not in the material itself, but in the way it is used. The most parochial historian with a small group from whom his theme constitutes a vital question forms a full-fledged historical cult. Outside that small group his subject evokes only a very weak interest, if any. With a better treatment of his minor question the frontiers of its significance will expand to a broader circle of interested persons. On the other hand, an all too detailed treatment of a "generally important" subject can easily kill the question's significance for most people.
—Johan Huizinga, "The Task of Cultural History"