Everything was beautiful…

Literary Tattoos: Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut This tattoo was submitted by Amy:

My tattoo is from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, and it says “everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”  My friend, whom I’ve known for 22 of my 25 years, wrote this in her own handwriting for me.

I chose Kurt Vonnegut because he is the most inspirational writer I’ve ever read, and I made it a mission to read everything he’s ever written. He is so prolific I think I’ll always be finding more and more tidbits of his to read, but after I read all of his novels in chronological order, and then all  of his collections of short stories and essays in chronological order (a total of more than 20 books) I decided to celebrate and commemorate my accomplishment with a tattoo.
I chose this quote for two reasons: Because it’s so iconically Kurt Vonnegut, and because the duality of it is so simple but so meaningful — it’s ironic and pessimistic, or it’s straightforward and optimistic, depending on how you read it, or on how you want to read it. It’s a stunning example of the whole of Kurt Vonnegut’s work.


  1. Heather says

    Oh, clever, Amy.

    Anyway, I mean that it seems like it was just plopped down without any thought to making it work with the flow of your body.

  2. Amy says

    I'm the one with this tattoo — the other Amy who was posting is not me!

    Just wanted to tell Holly it's not a font, it's my friend's handwriting. Ya know, like I said in my description of the tattoo … but it is beautiful, that's for sure.

  3. natalie says

    Love it! I'm getting the very same quote on my calf. (on my leg, not a baby cow)

    Vonnegut is one person I would have loved to meet!

  4. Lily says

    I absolutely love this tattoo. Thanks to this post, I am now hoping to get a tattoo in that same place, it just looks so stunning ! And being in your friend's handwriting makes it even more symbolic. Beautiful quote as well, of course. Well done !

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