Body Language

We Miamians are a little sensitive about our IQs, so forgive us if we feel compelled to wear our literacy on our sleeves — in shoulder to elbow ink. But it’s not just us — literary tattoos have been riding a wave of popularity. Two Miami-born authors, Justin Taylor and Eva Talmadge, compiled the best in The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide. The 150 designs are as various as Harry Potter spells on pale wrists (“Lumos”) and Samuel Beckett quotes on biceps (“I can’t go on, I’ll go on”). There’s even a guy with a full Theodor Adorno essay on his back who tells the authors, “I’m always shocked at how few people make themselves into a lifelong monument to their favorite prose or verse.” The book features everyday folks, including staff from a local Books & Books, and a few well-known authors. Rick Moody shows off a “here” on his forearm, Tao Lin reveals a self-referential tattoo, and Jonathan Lethem brandishes a Philip K. Dick Ubik spray can on his arm. Talmadge will return to her hometown of Coral Gables this Thursday for a slide presentation of literary tattoos at Books & Books.
Thu., Jan. 27, 7 p.m., 2011
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Amanda McCorquodale

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