The only kind of tattoo I might actually get

August 5, 2008 at 10:02 pm (read)

A few days ago the New York Times book blog wrote this post, “Pain and Ink,” about people who get literary-themed tattoos. You can see some of the tattoos here (Most of them are from books, but some are from songs, too, and I’m digging the ellipses tattoo. There’s also a fair bit of Elvish).

So, this of course made me ask myself, what would I get tattooed, were I to get a literary tattoo? I did paintings based on two of my favorite sentences last semester, but I don’t think either would be fantastic on my body:

The beds of mums and begonias and liriope all around him were like bikinied extras in a music video, planted in full blush of perfection and fated to be yanked again before they had a chance to lose petals, acquire brown spots, drop leaves. -The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

“I love that picture of you,” she says.

“What picture?” I ask.

“That one,” she says, pointing to a picture of the Alcoholic. She picks it up, presses her finger on a blur in the background. The oil on her finger marks the glass over the unfocused girl, over me. I squint, press the glass to my face and examine. I see then that it is me. A foggy gray wind. My face is faint underneath, like panty lines. -The Long Haul, Amanda Stern

(The bolded sentence is my actual favorite, I just think it needs the context.)

Anyway, fair readers, what are your picks? What quote would you get tattooed?

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5 Comments

  1. Cliff said,

    Strange…the only permanent ink I’ve ever considered was the title of a favorite song…

    But anyways, I guess as the only guy reader of your blog, it should be fairly evident which one I’m going to pick. Bonus points if it ends up “artistically” applied to illustrate the quote in question, running up your torso from point A to point B.

    Moved into your new apartment yet?? My own is fairly sparse but I’ve been adding to it slowly as I find the right pieces. Of course, I’ve also accumulated a decent amount of art (as I found my missing books and prints!). Unfortunately, they’re just strewn around or tackily taped to the wall because I haven’t been able to find the perfect frames. :( Who knows, maybe there might be no room for them and I could send you some to house-warm.

  2. Liz said,

    Hmm. I’m not sure either would be a tasteful, succinct tattoo. Maybe a bouquet of begonias, etc? I feel like the phrase “panty lines” somewhere on your body would get pretty frustrating come your 75th birthday. But I like the concept of a literary tattoo. Could I get one that says “the ineluctable modality of the visible”? Or would that be a bit much?

  3. bluesuedeshoes said,

    I know my two are icky tattoo possibilities–I meant what would YOU get? Liz, I have no idea what your quote means, but if you love Joyce that much, go for it!

  4. ihna said,

    “Did.”
    On my outside wrist, under my watchface.
    Reference to Shel Silverstein’s poem from “Falling Up”

    All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
    Layin’ in the sun,
    Talkin’ ’bout the things
    They woulda coulda shoulda done…
    But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
    All ran away and hid
    From one little Did.

    or a line from “How did you die?”
    from Edmund Vance Cooke
    http://www.seekerscircle.com/Articles/evc-howdidyoudie.htm

  5. Ihna said,

    One little “Did.”
    On my outside wrist, under my watchface.
    Reference to Shel Silverstein’s poem from “Falling Up”:

    All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
    Layin’ in the sun,
    Talkin’ ’bout the things
    They woulda coulda shoulda done…
    But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
    All ran away and hid
    From one little Did.

    or a line from “How did you die?”
    from Edmund Vance Cooke
    http://www.seekerscircle.com/Articles/evc-howdidyoudie.htm

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