Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Anansi Boys - Spiders

I know some people reading this book are paraphasing Indiana Jones: "Spiders... Why did it have to be spiders?" My best friend has an absolutely thrilling "b-movie heroine" scream reserved exclusively for spiders.

What is it that makes spiders so creepy?

On the surface, we shouldn't really be afraid of spiders. One of the first nursery rhymes we all learn is the Hinky Dinky Spider ("Oh, the Hinky Dinky Spider went up the water spout...") (Yes, I know there are "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Eensie Weensie Spider" afficianados out there, but I learned it as Hinky Dinky!) All these little kids are making the spider movement with their hands, almost before they can walk!

You need to balance that with "Little Miss Muffett" and her tuffet, and the terrifying spider.

Obviously, the nursery rhymes play both sides of the "spiders are scary" issue.

In Anansi Boys, Mr. Nancy was a real ladies man, and brimming with charisma. And all the Anansi stories say that Anansi was both a spider and a man. And what about Spider in Anansi Boys? He'd inherited all his dad's charisma.

Is it possible for you to think of a spider having charisma?

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