Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wearing Words: The Literary Tattoo

There's a growing trend of "literary tattoos", tattoos that pay homage to readers' favorite books and authors. But just by poking around Google Image Search a bit, it's clear that bookworms aren't excluded from the world of friggin' bizarre tattoos. Whether it's huge portraits of Henry David Thoreau (on the left side) or William Faulkner (right) , a chunk of Fight Club on your torso, or Dumbledore's disembodied head covering their backside, even the Bookworm's tribute to their favorite authors and works go just a bit wrong...

But that's not saying there aren't some good ones. The one above has a memorable line from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, "Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."

Contrariwise is a fantastic blog full of user-submitted literary tattoos (the title taken from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass), most of them simple and clever, ranging from Ayn Rand references to the Golden Apple from Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's Illuminatus! Trilogy.


Bonnie K said...

I have one!

Joe said...

Me too - the last line from David Foster Wallace's, Infinite Jest:

"And when he came back to he was flat on his back on the beach in the freezing sand, and it was raining out of a low sky, and the tide was way out."

Followed by an ellipses in quotations - used quite often by Wallace to denote a character’s speechlessness.

Eva said...

I'm working with a friend on a book of literary tattoos. If you have one, send it to us! More info here: