How does Irving interweave a realistic depiction of a Dutch colonial village and a fantastical folktales plot?
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The story of Rip Van Winkle was found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker, an old gentleman from New York who was especially interested in the histories, customs, and culture of the Dutch settlers in that state. It is set in a small, very old village at the foot of the Catskill Mountains, which was founded by some of the earliest Dutch settlers. Rip lived there while America was still a colony of Great Britain. All the hallmarks of a small Dutch village are there. The small huts, the farming lifestyle and the people responsible for one occupation are in the village. The fantastical comes after Rip Van Winkle has slept and the village is changed.