this goddam phenomenal world

This is Nicky’s tattoo.

I’m such a Salinger geek, this book in particular means a great deal to me. This line in my opnion just sums up Salinger’s writing.

About three months ago I dreamt I got this tattoo done so I decided it was a sign I should go for it; it was done by the hugely talented Ryan at Funhouse Tattoos in Vancouver, Canada. This guy will take on any tattoo (my friend got a tattoo of a Venn diagram at the same time, two perfect circles), the font is so neat and tiny, I’m so happy with it!

(The font is Baskerville.)

Literary Tattoos: J. D. Salinger Franny and Zooey

“You’re lucky if you get time to sneeze in this goddam phenomenal world.”

- J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey

fail better

Literary Tattoos: Worstward Ho Samuel Beckett

This is Andrew’s tattoo:

As soon as I read it I knew it would be on me. It describes my life very well. I’ve lived 29 years before being diagnosed with ADHD so I was perpetually banging my head against walls, never knowing why I couldn’t figure my life out, but trying again anyways. Hopefully each time I fail again, I do it a little bit better than the last.

“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho


Literary Tattoos: Shakespeare As You Like It

These tattoos belong to Janine Vero & Ursula Vero, and were submitted by Janine.

I have several tattoos, but this is my first literary tattoo.

My sister and I are not traditional when it comes to tattoos & enjoy tattoos that hold unique charm and special sentiment. We have been on the constant search for something representative of our close relationship and finally came upon lines from William Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It” (specifically Act One, Scene Three, Lines 66-71 .. the tattoo reads I.iii.66-71). Here are Shakespeare’s words. Very fitting for our bond:

I was too young at that time to value her,
But now I know her. If she be a traitor,
Why, so am I. We still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learned, played, eat together,
And wheresoe’er we went, like Juno’s swans,
Still we went coupled and inseperable.

FYI: In the picture my tattoo is vertical on my arm and my sister’s is across her wrist.

Sink or Swim

Literary Tattoos:

This is Jessica’s tattoo.

All my life I have delt with anxiety. At age 10 I was diagnoised with OCD. Growing up I was afraid to go into stores, make business calls or do anything that was related to speaking to strangers. My mother would say to me “sink or swim, Jessica” Her words inspired me to overcome my fears and do what I had to do. Thank God for my mother reminding me to swim.

So it goes #39, 40, 41

Literary Tattoos: Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut So it goes.

This is Megan‘s.

I got this tattoo in memory of my friends & family who have passed on. It’s to remind me that their death’s were not in vain & that life, indeed, does go on.

Literary Tattoos: Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut So it goes.

This is Katie’s.

Literary Tattoos: Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut So it goes.

This is Dan’s.

I got the tattoo for the same reason everyone else who gets it did, I love the quote from the book and the message about death and destiny that it carries. Vonnegut is hands down my favorite writer of all time and when I decided I wanted a tattoo it was an obvious decision who would be my inspiration. It was just a matter of which quote I wanted and this one won out pretty easily.
This was posted as a part of “So it Goes” Saturdays. The phrase “so it goes” appears in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five 106 times. Can you help me collect 106 “so it goes” tattoos? 41 down, 65 to go.


Literary Tattoos: Charles Bukowski

This is Dan’s tattoo.

My tattoo is from an interview with Charles Bukowski in Life Magazine.

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

The font is Papyrus. This tattoo was done by Ray Jimenez at Bad Apple Tattoo in Las Vegas, every time I’ve gone to that shop the work has been phenomenal.

Note:  The source of this quotation is Life Magazine December 1988. You can read the article text here.

Maya Angelou

Literary Tattoos: Maya Angelou

This is Laura’s tattoo.

I just got my Maya Angelou tattoo yesterday. It says:

“I did then what I knew how to do.
Now that I know better, I do better.”

It’s a reminder to myself not to beat myself up over what’s happened in the past…because what’s done is done, and I’ve learned from it. Thinking back and going “what if” is unreasonable, because I didn’t know then what I know now. I continue on, and keep on learning every day.