Finding the Right Face for Charlotte in ‘Charlotte’s Web’
In insisting on an anatomically correct Charlotte, E. B. White was playing with fire: People hate real spiders.
This is , a column by Abby Walthausen that explores the nature of book illustration and the way images can shape the text for the reader.
If something isn’t cute, no need to love it.
Some Pig!Terrific. Radiant. Humble.
Abby Walthausen's writing has appeared in The Public Domain Review, The Paris Review Daily, The Atlantic, Zocalo Public Square, Atlas Obscura, Common-place, Mutha, Extra Crispy, LARB, Electric Literature, and LitHub. Fictional work has been published by Gigantic, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, the Made in LA anthology, Santa Monica Review, Gulf Stream, and is forthcoming in Sycamore Review . She lives in Echo Park, Los Angeles where she guides a tour about twentieth-century printmaker Paul Landacre, and is at work on a novel, ST. CYR.
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Maybe Beardsley’s illustrations are divergent because he, like everybody else, couldn’t quite understand what Wilde was going for in the play.
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You will remember, in fact, the first doctor who does ask, who says ‘is it okay if I put my hands here,’ gesturing, waiting for you to say ‘yes.’