8.27.2008

permanent marker

The internet tells me that many, many other people in this world have literary tattoos. (However, I very much cast aspersion onto the Literary Value of that second tattoo down on the first link: really, is that first identifiable as a Palahniuk cover? Wouldn't it be most commonly associated with, say, anatomical diagrams from high school anatomy & biology? Also, from the contrariwise.org link: please never again consider Dave Matthews Band lyrics a "literary tattoo".)
The internet does seem to come up blank when faced with the search term "Joan Didion tattoo", or "Slouching Towards Bethlehem tattoo", though.

So, do you have a copy of the 1968 printing of Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem at hand? Good, because I do not. (All my books are in another state at this time, and I am not about to drive seven hours to scan a page to illustrate my point.) Turn to the first story, "Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream". See that beautiful inky graphic that is the chapter heading graphic? Yes, that's what I have dreamt of for ten years now as a potential tattoo. In fact, that's the only thing I've ever dreamt of as a tattoo.


Will I ever really go for it and get this inked on my breastbone? Perhaps. Slouching Towards Bethlehem is one of the very first books I read that made me gasp and realize what, exactly, great writing can do to a reader. And really, if someone can make the decision to get something in fucking Elvish permanently affixed to their skin, I think Joan Didion will prove the far saner choice.

4 comments:

The Minister said...

I think that's an excellent choice for a tattoo. You know what it means, but to the rest of the world, it's just a cool image, which takes away the pretentious tool aspect of most literary tats.

If I could find an equivalent representing James Joyce, I might take the plunge. Until then, I'll keep looking for an interesting-but-ambiguous-but-still-meaningful image to permanently imprint into my skin.

Jen said...

I don't know the graphic you're talking about, but I'm sure it's awesome.

I'm working on putting together a tattoo of a quote from Neil Gaiman's Sandman.

Anonymous said...

The book is on amazon.com and it had a picture of the image. It is cool looking and very ambiguous

The Honorable Mayor of Bethville said...

I want a potato tattoo, like in Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Does that count?