Weekly Geeks: Inked

March 22, 2010 at 12:04 am 17 comments

Courtesy of Weekly Geeks

Ah, Hitchhiker's Guide! Excellent choice :)

Do you have a literary tattoo? Do you have any ideas for future literary tattoos? Are there any quotes that you might one day want to have printed on you?

I don’t have any tattoos currently, but the idea both fascinates and scares me. Struck by the permanence of literally etching something into my skin, something I’d carry around with me the rest of my life, I’ve always worried that no matter what I chose, I’d end up regretting it 15 years later.

If I were to ink anything on my body, a literary quote would be a perfect choice. My sister and I discuss tattoos fairly often, and our latest plan has been to get coordinating tattoos from “i carry your heart with me” by e e cummings. While Kim is partial to “here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life,” I would prefer “this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart” for my hypothetical ink.

But to be honest, I’d almost rather a quote that meant more to me. The one I’d be most likely to get? “Think of me with my nose in a book!” from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

Would you ever get a literary tattoo? What would you choose? Let us know in the comments!

— KT


Entry filed under: Weekly Geeks. Tags: , , .

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17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. silverseason  |  March 22, 2010 at 3:56 am

    I like “Nature’s first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold” (Robert Frost) but that is rather long so maybe I should have Frost’s shorter “And miles to go before I sleep.” I don’t like the idea of giving portions of my skin to any outside agency or idea — let it speak for me directly.

    • 2. KT  |  March 22, 2010 at 6:37 am

      The English teacher Corey and I had in 7th grade made us memorize that entire poem — I still know it by heart and I bet she does, too! What a beautiful choice :)

      • 3. Corey  |  March 22, 2010 at 6:58 am

        Word. All I can think of is “The Outsiders” when I hear that first line! Thanks, 7th grade English glass.

      • 4. KT  |  March 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm


      • 5. Corey  |  March 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm

        You crack me up! As does Mrs. Barends. (Barents? Barendts? How was her name spelled?!)

  • 6. Britney  |  March 22, 2010 at 3:56 am

    The closest I’ve gotten to a literary tattoo is a literary engraving on my iPod (my first had a quote from Eowyn in The Return of the King). I don’t think I could deal with the permanence of a tattoo personally, but I guess if I were to get a tattoo a literary quote might be fitting. I would definitely stay away from likenesses of Twilight characters (if you haven’t seen it).

    • 7. KT  |  March 22, 2010 at 6:40 am

      Oh dear. I’ll be, um, scrubbing my brain, trying to remove the image of Robert Pattinson on that girl’s arm.

    • 8. Corey  |  March 22, 2010 at 6:57 am

      That is nuts! They all seemed so big and utterly not subtle. They certainly are hard-core, I’ll give Twilight fans that.

  • 9. tarantulatrash  |  March 22, 2010 at 4:36 am

    I have a literary tattoo! It’s from my favourite piece from Jim Morrison’s Lords and New Creatures. Have a look, if you like. (Not a shameless plug of my blog, but you might be interested in seeing it?)

    I like your blog :)

    • 10. KT  |  March 22, 2010 at 6:45 am

      Plug away! I love the tattoo, both the quote itself and how it looks — beautiful :)

      Also, um, I stumbled on your post about Buckfast. As someone who lived in Galway for a few months, all I can say is yes, Buckfast most definitely = mess! Heaven help us if they ever start selling it in the States (or Australia, in your case).

  • 11. tarantulatrash  |  March 22, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    hahah I heard Galway is worse than Cork. I really wish they did sell it here, it certainly makes life interesting! Thanks for the compliment :)

  • 12. Emily  |  March 23, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I always try on literary tattoos with thin tip sharpie, and wear them around for a few days. But then they wash off, so the irony is, I have no documentation or clear memory of what I toyed with getting permanently inked on my skin.

    Thank goodness, because I never want anything permanently inked on my skin.

  • 13. Mae  |  March 24, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    There seems to a sudden surge in lit tattoos. I’ve been uhmming and ahhing over one for over year – first the quote then the placement. And now I’ve changed my mind about the quote. It’s hard because one keeps reading and so new favourite quotes keeps popping up and then you have to sit on it …

    Anyway, you should check out this fantastic and pretty inspiring site: http://www.contrariwise.org/

    • 14. KT  |  March 25, 2010 at 8:35 pm

      That site IS fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing — I see a few people already have e e cummings quotes, and I feel inspired now :)

  • 15. Natalie  |  March 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    KT: I love the idea of the coordinating sister tattoos! Using that e e cummings poem would be brilliant. Unfortunately, my sister doesn’t have her ears pierced and refuses even to wear jewelry, so such a permanant display of her sisterly affection is probably out of the question.

    I go back and forth on text tattoos; I worry that when I am old and saggy, they’ll blur to an unrecognizable set of lines. Of course, I’d have a few decades of legibility before then, so maybe it’d be worth it…

    • 16. KT  |  March 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm

      Yeah, the sag factor is definitely a problem. That’s why I’ve been sticking with (conservative) piercings — much easier to let heal over when I feel like I’m too old for them!

  • 17. nevermindtheend  |  October 12, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Glad you like my Hitchhiker’s Guide tattoo, but I would appreciate credit for the photo.


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