“The image is this:

Properly written texts are like spiders’ webs: tight, concentric, transparent, well-spun and firm. They draw into themselves all the creatures of the air. Metaphors flitting hastily through them become their nourishing prey. Subject matter comes winging towards them. [Adorno, Minima Moralia]

At one level, there is a cliché at work in this passage: etymology informs us that text (thus also texture and textile) derives from the Latin textum: a web. Which means, as Adorno puts it, that the text has a power of attraction, that it holds all it captures in a delicate, murderous tension. But we mean something else too when we say that a well constructed text is like a web – we mean that it may be filled with all manner of heterogeneous matter, it’s a container for all airborne things, and its maker must wait vigilantly for the right prey to happen along. The web is a means, a process, a tool, not a finished work.“

Brian Dillon: Essayism (p.72)