A Spider darted forth four or five threads from its spinners.
Glittering in the sunshine, a film of slik blown by the wind, these
diverged in an ascending direction. The spider then let go its
hold, and was quickly borne from sight. The atmosphere can
never be so tranquil, as not to affect a vane so delicate as the
thread of a spider’s web.
—Charles Darwin, Aeronaut Spiders, 1833
Experience is never limited, and it is never complete, it is an
immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest
silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness,
and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.
—Henry James, The Art of Fiction, 1884
Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps,
but still attached to life at all four corners. But these webs
are not spun in midair, by incorporeal creatures. They are the
work of suffering human beings, and are attached to grossly
material things, like health and money and the houses we
—Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, 1929