Index Prev Next Comments
Charlotte’s Web Wouldn’t
Get Published Today
Hans Ness, Nov 19, 2023
Nostalgia is so powerful it can blind our other sensibilities. We look back at the classics with great fondness, but are they really that great? They certainly were in their time, but if they were written today without the glow of nostalgia, would they still be praised ... or even published?

Look at Charlotte’s Web. Let me posit my controversial opinion that it does not stand up to today’s literary standards and would not get published today. Here’s why:
There, have I ruined your childhood? Ha! 😈

Can you find a successful contemporary book that has the qualities/flaws above? Because of nostalgia, we give a free pass to the classics, even recasting their flaws as brilliant strokes of genius while criticizing those exact same qualities in contemporary works.

I’m not saying Charlotte’s Web is a bad book. Jus’ sayin’ times have changed.