Title: The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide
Authors: Eva Talmadge and Justin Taylor
Publication Year: 2010
Source: Review copy from the publisher
From the cover:
The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide is a guide to the emerging subculture of literary tattoos—a collection of more than 150 full-color photographs of human epidermis indelibly adorned with quotations and illustrations from Dickinson to Pynchon, from Shakespeare to Plath. With beloved lines of verse, literary portraits, and illustrations—and statements from the bearers on their tattoos’ history and the personal significance of the chosen literary work—The Word Made Flesh is part collection of photographs and part literary anthology written on skin.
I’ve been looking forward to getting to read this book since I heard about it a few months ago. So when Harper sent out an email offering review copies, I jumped on the chance.
This was a very quick “read”, and I put that in quotation marks simply because the major draw of the book was the visuals, not so much the actual text. Almost every single photograph of a tattoo was accompanied by an explanation of the text, the person’s choice to have it done, or some other related story. I really liked learning more about the context behind each piece, but that was still second-place behind simply looking at the gorgeous images.
You may or may not know this about me, but I am a serious body-art lover. I have two tattoos myself (on the inside and outside of my right ankle) and fourteen piercings. There’s just something about body art for me that is a great vehicle for self-expression, and this is even more pronounced when it’s literary-related and shows such an important facet of a person’s life, beliefs, or experiences.
The Word Made Flesh was fantastic for me because it really showed the sheer number of people who are tattooing their love of reading and words onto their bodies. If you are at all interested in body art as a mode of self-expression, you should definitely take a look at this book!