Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Literary tattoos

Do you love a book or character enough to immortalise them on your skin in ink?

Writer Marieke Hardy (who also appears on ABC's First Tuesday Book Club) raised the topic of literary tattoos today in the Sydney Morning Herald, with her comment piece Mark my words.

While Marieke is clearly a fan of literary tattoos in the true sense (tatts inspired by popular fiction just don't cut it for her), she makes some interesting points about the whole literary tatt trend.

Of course, the topic is not new in blogland. Bibliobibuli had the discussion back in 2008, and you only after to do a Google Images search for "literary tattoo" and you'll find an amazing range of book lovers' tattoos, like this one below, from Contrariwise is also a great site for literary tattoos.

I like the idea. I just need to decide what I want and why. Given it's a piece of art that's going to stay on my skin for the rest of my life, I want to choose wisely.

Writer Lee McGowan (aka the inkstained toe-poker) had some thoughts on tattoos this week, so maybe Marieke's article will give him some food for thought in his own decision.

So, of course, it raises the question of whether you would get a literary tatt and if so, what you would get? Or do you already have one, and if so, what is it?


BookPlease said...

I can see some attraction in this, but it's not for me. I can't stand the thought of being tattoed - why volunteer for pain. And anyway, I could never decide which quote to have.

If you get one, I do hope you'll show us all!

Placey said...

What a brilliant topic! This has had me thinking for a day and a night now. What would I get inked – well, I pretty easily came up with a bunch of my favourite books, but then you have to find a quote that either says something about the book, or yourself, or is just a great line all by itself.
This reminds me of Rob the record shop owner from Nick Hornby’s ‘High Fidelity”. He was asked by a journalist to provide his Top 5 Desert Island Songs. Rob came up with a Top 5, then started to refine – put Marley in , take out Prince, swap this song for that…. He got home and related his list to his girlfriend and she replied ‘I don’t believe it…Ever since I’ve known you you’ve told me that “Let’s get it on” by Marvin Gaye was the greatest record of all time, and now it doesn’t even make your top five.’ %^&@#@$ !!

I do love these lines from Doctor Who (OK, technically not literature but someone had to write the screenplays) which you can buy on T-shirts:
"The angels have the phonebox"
"Don't blink. Blink and you're dead. Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't blink. Good Luck".
"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff"

I also love these lines by Aragorn from the film ‘Return of the King (Lord of the Rings III)’ "Hold your ground - hold your ground! Sons of Gondor - of Rohan . . . my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. The day may come when the courage of Men fails; when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship; but it is not this day - an hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the Age of Man comes crashing down - but it is not this day!!! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth - I bid you stand!"
However, I believe that they are not text from Tolkein’s book, rather lines created by Peter Jackson and co’s screen writing, so I feel a bit cheated.

Finally,I think a song lyric or title would have to go on somewhere: has to be some AC/DC, something from 70s metal – Black Sabbatch, Deep Purple or Rainbow, some Oz indy rock from the 90s – Spiderbait, Regurgitator, Machine Gun Fellatio, some mellow surfie/ blues n roots stuff - Pete Murray, Xavier Rudd, Jack Johnson, John Butler Trio. ...hmmm, I feel a ‘High Fidelity’ moment coming on.
Now, what font and what part of my body?

Anonymous said...


Charley said...

I was just checking out Contrariwise, a site about literary tattoos. I don't plan on getting one, but I think they're a cool idea.