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Words That Last: Literary Tattoos

Contrariwise_2 The Daily Telegraph alerted us (although we can't remember how we got to the Telegraph article in the first place) to Contrariwise, a blog that collects photos of literary and other wordy tattoos (is it new, or am I just too stupid to figure out how to see the archives?). Vonnegut and the Little Prince appear to be especially popular, and I'm sure the wowser below is not the only Fight Club tattoo walking around out there. (Meanwhile, I can't pass up the opportunity to link yet again to one of my favorite photos ever taken with my camera, of a grand tattoo of one of America's finest writers.)

Fightclubtat I love words, but man, some of those giant paragraphs are overwhelming. I've never been much of a tattoo man (I don't even want to tie my identity to something long enough to put a bumper sticker on my car, much less write something forever on my body), but I must admit the Harriet the Spy is pretty sharp. Is there any bit of book that I would be willing to commit to putting on my skin for the rest of my life? My first thought was, "No way," but then I thought I could stick by "Up, and to Clayton!" pretty much for eternity. (First to spot the reference gets, well, my congratulations, triple if no Google was involved.) Or maybe Sam or Mr. Bikferd from Who Needs Donuts?.

Are there any words you'd be willing to wear? --Tom

P.S. Juliet, my colleague who passed this along to me, thought it had come from our friends at Slog, but then she couldn't find it there. But, weirdly, while I was writing my post, their books editor, Paul Constant, was writing his own post about lit tats, featuring a different blog (although some of the same photos). I feel that my mind is not my own...


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These days the phrase or saying and typeface is now the main factor of the individual body art styles and there often is not even a noticeable element.

Literary Written and Word Tattoos - Of course word tattoos have been around permanently and a day.

This just features of course three of the most well-known designs in communication human tattoo designs designs. There are many other options and ideas out there. Use your own creativity and the above ideas as a shifting off aspect for your design.

I'd just get a lot of Simpsons quotes...not going to lie.

If I am a math wizard i will tattoo all the math formula in my body. :D

Great! loved it, will be waiting for your future posts. Thank you for sharing.

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Literary tattoes are pretty cool it would be nice to get one.

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The job sounds incredible hope you enjoy it. Also thanks for sharing this awesome article.

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Great post! I did not anticipate this. This is a impressive story. Thanks!

Would it not look like weird and what is the point of getting a few lines written on your body if not many people would read it.

I don't like this painful literary tattoos and any other type of tattoos because god made us already so beautiful.

It's great to see a blog of this quality. I learned a lot of new things and I'm looking forward to see more like this. Thank you.

Most readers often stick to what they know they enjoy.

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I like tattoos and I will make tatto on my lenght.

I admire people that put up with that much pain..cause the guy with ton of text tatoo..(2nd pic) must have had a really painful experience..anyway I am not too sure what words would I put ..I'd rather put a branch of acacia on me I guess(torns and everything)..more specifically on my forearm.

Great post about Literary Tattoos I want a tattoo in my hand but I am not sure what picture do you think that is better.

i have a verse from a song on my ribs for my dad who passed away xmas 2004 after a very short battle with cancer "even though you're so close to me, you're still so distant and i can't bring you back, the sound of your voice painted on my memories, even if you're not with me, i'm with you 08.10.52 - 25.12.04" from Linkin Park - With You and i am very happy with it :)

I got a quote from Jurassic Park tattooed

Good work,thanks for sharing this information!!!

I really like the tattos with style...

I got a similar tatto on the neck, maybe i can send you some pictures let me know.

Too many choices from the hundreds of books I've read. I might pick the quote from Dune. The lines from the Litany of Fear from the O.C. bible. You know, "I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer etc,. It would be cool on my chest so that I would see it every day in the mirror. An excellent reminder to be fearless in all things. Then again there are some beautiful lines from Tolkien that I would use. Of course if I'm using Tolkien, I would convert the lines to Elvish first.

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