Tattoos Inspired by Classic Literature
A few days ago, I came across this interesting feature on Mental Floss titled “11 Geekiest Tattoos Ever Inked”. There were a lot of great entries, but the one that stuck out for me the most was the delightfully obscure Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy tattoo.
This got me interested in discovering other tattoos inspired by works of literature. I did a bit of research, and picked out ten tattoos inspired by literary classics. Who knows, maybe they will inspire you to get some ink of your own.
The Little Prince: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The classic existensialist novella/children’s book is a popular subject for tattoos due to its whimsical illustrations and profound subject matter. This tattoo stood out for me due to its incredible complexity.
Tale of Two Cities: Charles Dickens
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” is perhaps one of the most recognizable opening lines in all of literature. This Dickens fan took it further by having the entire opening paragraph inked across his forearms.
Instead of choosing to tattoo a line from one of his novels, this Steinbeck lover took a more unique stance. This tattoo is of Steinbeck’s personal stamp; the pigasus (pig with wings) and the latin phrase “Ad astra per alia porci” which translates to “to the stars on the wings of a pig”.
Marquis De Sade
There is something about memorializing the Marquis De Sade via having needles dug into your skin that seems all too perfect.
Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen
This tattoo immortalizes Pemberley Estate, the residence of the swoon-worthy Mr. Darcy in Austen’s classic tale. Technically this is based off of Chatham House, the residence used for Pemberley in the 2005 film adaptation, but Chatham has long been thought to be Austen’s inspiration for Pemberley.
The Scarlett Letter: Nathaniel Hawthorne/ Moby Dick: Herman Melville
This tattoo combines the bearer’s love for Hawthorne and Melville in one neat composition. This combination as all too appropriate, due to the authors’ famous brief, yet meaningful friendship.
The Raven: Edgar Allan Poe
The Raven and Poe are both relatively common literary tattoos. I particularly enjoyed this one due to the dramatic, swirling compositon and the more subtle use of the raven feather (as opposed to the entire raven).
The Great Gatsby: F. Scott Fitzgerald
This stunning Great Gatsby tattoo wowed me with its bold colors and the way it perfectly captured the dramatic tension of the novel.
A Clockwork Orange: Anthony Burgess
The majority of the Clockwork tattoos I looked at were naturally disturbing and/or graphic (not that there’s anything wrong with that). This one surprised me with its subtlety.
On the Road: Jack Kerouac
When I saw this tattoo, all I could think was “wow, that’s amazing!”. The composition is inspired and the detail is incredible. This design is so impressive that I wish I could get a print of it.