Category Literature

The Fear of the Gods

In one of his lesser known stories, The Food of the Gods and how it came to Earth, the British writer H.G. Wells presents Herakleophorbia IV, a nutrient that makes anything grow to about 6x its regular size. The story takes the reader, rather uninspired, through the regular motions of such a plot. Careless scientists, terrifying […]

Abundance Fantasies: Cockaigne

“And still I’ve more to tell of it; The geese when roasted on the spit Fly to the abbey (believe it or not) And cry out ‘Geese, all hot, all hot!’ With garlic in great quantity, The best-dressed geese a man could see. The larks are known to do the same- Land in your mouth, well-cooked […]

Subliminal Tinker Bell

If we want to convince mankind that we should downsize the human body it will not be sufficient to present the endocrinological and genetic possibilities to shrink, or point out the amount of damage we are causing because of human size, or any of the other strong arguments against increasing body size. The notion of […]

The Rescale Archive

Rescaling something always has effect. It makes us notice things. It changes the way we perceive, and it reinstates a certain autonomy of the object. But what happens if the rescaled object is the human body? How would we perceive reality if everything around us increased in size because we got smaller? The only people […]

Anthropology of Small Mythological Characters

Undoubtedly myths have some responsibility for how we define our relationship with the small. Mythical explanations of the world often present small beings as metaphors for the unexplainable. The small have become a space to project human desires, fears, ideals and ideas. Knowledge of this vast component of global mythology can be of some importance if […]

Shrink to Power

Popular culture is ripe with examples of the playful desire to shrink. We’ve reported before on the peculiar desire of some people to sexually fantasize about very small men, and women especially. But not all forms of microphilia are of an erotic nature. On the light side of microphilia are the playful shrink formulas and […]

Children’s Shrinklit.

There is a lot of of children’s literature involving little or shrunken characters. These stories sparked our imagination as a child and in many cases continue to do so, consciously and subconsciously. In the Netherlands we have Pinkeltje and Wiplala, in Sweden it’s Simon Small, in England you have the Borrowers. We will try over […]

An Act of Rebellion

In The Tin Drum, one of the great postwar literary classics, the protagonist Oskar Matzerath decides to stop growing at age 3. He explains to the reader that since he was born with a fully developed consciousness he could observe adults, and their ways. Since he doesn’t like what he sees he decides not to become […]


Literature, both high and low, has a lot of insights to offer when it comes to our view on size differences. Here’s a list of books, periodically updated and expanded, in which size  plays a key role. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (published 1776-7). In this political satire Gulliver meets with the very small (in the land […]

A fascinating adventure into the unknown!

This research project gets its name from the classic film The Incredible Shrinking Man.  The film, based on Richard Matheson’s book The Shrinking Man, is about a man who slowly shrinks into oblivion. It is a rich document for analysis of  some of the fears and challenges involved.