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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Comments (32)

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.

Posted by: View More | Thursday June 20, 2013 at 12:49 AM

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

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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.

Posted by: BelRedCosmeticSurgery.Com | Thursday June 20, 2013 at 12:41 AM

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

Posted by: Jim | Wednesday August 29, 2012 at 2:23 PM

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

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

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

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.I bought this IWC Watch for my husband for our anniversary. He loves it! It is a very classic design and is great for casual or business attire.
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Posted by: Supra shoes | Monday July 5, 2010 at 1:15 AM

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

Posted by: seroquel | Thursday April 1, 2010 at 3:11 AM

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.

Posted by: Alessandro | Friday December 11, 2009 at 5:56 AM

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.

Posted by: Generic vs Brand Name | Monday November 2, 2009 at 7:52 AM

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 :)

Posted by: gem | Tuesday September 15, 2009 at 12:59 PM

I got a quote from Jurassic Park tattooed

Posted by: Whipper | Saturday September 5, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Good work,thanks for sharing this information!!!

Posted by: Generic Viagra | Tuesday July 21, 2009 at 10:05 AM

I really like the tattos with style...

Posted by: Children Anxiety Disorder | Thursday March 19, 2009 at 3:08 AM

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

Posted by: Affiliate Promotion | Thursday March 19, 2009 at 3:07 AM

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.

Posted by: Grantaire of JC | Wednesday July 23, 2008 at 9:21 PM

I had this done 2 years ago (see link)

Posted by: Fais que ton reve soit plus long que la nuit | Wednesday July 23, 2008 at 4:08 PM

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